19-A fetters Parliament, not President

November 20th, 2018

By C. A. Chandraprema Courtesy The Island

By now, everyone in the country would have realized that the current political mess that the country is in, stems from the changes made or purported to be made in the Constitution, by the 19th Amendment. From the very beginning, the 19th Amendment Bill itself has been a mess. On the one hand, though it repealed and replaced Article 30 of the Constitution, the Bill sought to retain a President who was directly elected by the people and who was designated as ‘the Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces’. The only substantial change made by the 19th A with regard to the status of the Executive President was reducing his term of office from six to five years. This fact basically doomed to failure the substantial changes that the 19A sought to make in the status of the Prime Minister.

The 19A sought to make substantial changes to the status of the Prime Minister by repealing and replacing Chapter VIII of the Constitution so as to make the Prime Minister (a) the head of the Cabinet of Ministers. (b) to confer on the PM the power to determine the number of Ministers and the Ministries and the assignment of subjects and functions to such Ministers (c) to make it mandatory for the President to appoint Ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister, and (d) to vest the PM with the power to at any time change the assignment of subjects and functions and recommend to the President changes in the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers. Had these changes been made, that would have made the PM the effective head of the government in a situation where the President not only was to continue to be elected directly by the people, but also designated as the head of the executive and the head of the government among other things just as he was before the 19A. In its Determination on the 19th Amendment, the Supreme Court held as follows:

1. The People in whom sovereignty is reposed made the President the Head of the Executive in terms of Article 30 of the Constitution and entrusted in the President, the exercise of the Executive power. If the people have conferred such power on the President, it must be either exercised by the President directly or someone who derives authority from the President. If the inalienable sovereignty of the people which they reposed on the President in trust is exercised by any other agency or instrument who do not have any authority from the President then such exercise would necessarily affect the sovereignty of the People.

2. The transfer, relinquishment or removal of a power attributed to one organ of government to another organ or body would be inconsistent with Article 3 read with Article 4 of the Constitution. Though Article 4 provides the form and manner of exercise of the sovereignty of the people, the ultimate act or decision of his executive functions must be retained by the President. So long as the President remains the Head of the Executive, the exercise of his powers remain supreme or sovereign in the executive field and others to whom to such power is given must derive the authority from the President or exercise the Executive power vested in the President as a delegate of the President.

What naturally happened on the basis of the above was that the Supreme Court struck down all the changes that were sought to be made to the status of the Prime Minister by the 19th Amendment Bill on the basis that such amendments required a referendum and we were back to square one.

Today, we hear UNP lawyers like Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne arguing that under the changes that the 19th Amendment made to Article 70 of the constitution, the President cannot dissolve Parliament until the lapse of four and a half years or Parliament passes a resolution by a two-thirds majority requesting the President to dissolve Parliament. On the other hand, we hear lawyers like President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva arguing that the 19th Amendment introduced a new provision to Article 33 of the Constitution in the form of Subsection (2)(c) which states that the President will have the power ‘to summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament’ – in addition to the powers, duties and functions expressly conferred or imposed on, or assigned to the President by the Constitution or other written law, and that this new provision gave the President unfettered power to dissolve Parliament.

What really has taken place here? Was a fetter placed on the power of the President to dissolve Parliament by the changes made to Article 70(1) by the 19th Amendment? After the 19th Amendment, Article 70(1) of the Constitution, now reads as follows: “The President may by Proclamation, summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament: Provided that the President shall not dissolve Parliament until the expiration of a period of not less than four years and six months from the date appointed for its first meeting, unless Parliament requests the President to do so by a resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present), voting in its favour”.

It should be understood that both before and after the 19th Amendment it is only the President who has the power to dissolve Parliament. There is no provision in our present Constitution for Parliament to be able to dissolve itself. Before the 19th Amendment, Article 70(1) of the Constitution had a provision saying that Parliament could request the President to dissolve Parliament through a resolution passed by a simple majority. After the 19th Amendment, Parliament can make that request from the President only through a resolution passed with a two thirds majority. Both before and after the 19th Amendment, Parliament can only ‘request’ the President to dissolve Parliament. There is, and never was any provision in the Constitution both before and after the 19th A whereby Parliament can ‘order’ the President to dissolve Parliament and which binds the President to carry out such an order. Both before and after the 19th Amendment, when the President receives a ‘request’ for dissolution from Parliament, it is entirely up to the President to decide whether he is going to accede to that request or not.

The dissolution of Parliament either at his discretion or on a request coming from Parliament itself was always a prerogative that goes with the executive power vested in the President. In the Supreme Court determination on the 19th Amendment, it was very clearly stated that ‘so long as the President remains the Head of the Executive, the exercise of his powers remains supreme or sovereign in the executive field …’ Even though Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne argues that the amendment made to Article 70(1) by the 19th Amendment has taken away the power of the President to dissolve Parliament before the lapse of four and a half years and vested that power in Parliament, the SC Determination on the 19th A clearly stated that ‘the transfer, relinquishment or removal of a power attributed to one organ of government to another organ or body would be inconsistent with Article 3 read with Article 4 of the Constitution.’ Therefore, such a shift of powers would need to be approved at a referendum.

In its Determination on the 19th A, the Supreme Court struck down many provisions on the grounds that they would need to be put to a referendum. However, the SC did not consider the change made to Article 70(1) as having taken away the power the President had to dissolve Parliament. The reason for this obviously was the insertion of the provision in Article 33(2) (c) upholding the unfettered power of the President to dissolve Parliament whenever he deemed fit. The fact that Article 33(2) (c) was not in any way been made contingent on Article 70 (1), shows that the latter Article was in no way meant to qualify the former. Had the proposed Article 70(1) in any way qualified Article 33(2) (c), the SC would have immediately taken note of Article 70 (1) as a provision seeking to take away an important discretionary power of the President and give it to Parliament. That would have required a referendum because ‘the transfer, of a power attributed to one organ of government to another organ would be inconsistent with Article 3 read with Article 4 of the Constitution’.

Because Article 33(2) (c) has not, in any way, been made contingent on Article 70(1) the effect that the change made to Article 70(1) has been not to fetter the President’s power to dissolve Parliament, but to impose fetters on Parliament itself, by making it necessary to have a two-thirds majority to request the President to dissolve Parliament – which before the 19th Amendment could be done with a simple majority in Parliament! It should be borne in mind that Article 70(1), after the 19th Amendment, speaks only of how Parliament can ‘request’ the President to dissolve Parliament. The actual decision to dissolve or not dissolve is still very much with the President and there is nothing that Parliament can do to force a dissolution. So we see that Articles 33(2) (c) and 70(1) are in alignment with one another when it comes to recognizing the President as the sole authority that can dissolve Parliament at his discretion.

It is important to note that even if Parliament passes a resolution by a two-thirds majority, that still does not take away the President’s discretionary power in this regard.

YAHAPALANA AS A PUPPET REGIME Part 3

November 20th, 2018

KAMALIKA PIERIS

This essay looks at five important Yahapalana activities. They are Legislation, Constitutional Council, Income tax, Land bank and Citizen Data base.

LEGISLATION

Yahapalana method of passing laws has been criticized. Important laws are passed with just a simple majority of the MPs present and voting. The Enforced Disappearances Bill was declared passed in Parliament with only 53 MPs voting in its favor.

Prime Minister presents the Bills to the Parliament with jest and banter, said Janaki Chandraratne. The Opposition, in particular, TNA and JVP are not interested in the debate and doze off in the comfy chairs, because of the inducements to support the ruling party. The Bills are then presented to a vote for the first and second readings and passed very often with 2/3 majority. The third reading is also similarly passed even though at this point, there are new amendments added to it.

Yahapalana wanted to amend socially important laws which have given protection to the citizens of the country. Yahapalana wants to scrap the relatively progressive measures introduced by previous governments, such as Philip Gunawardena’s Paddy Lands Act and Pieter Keuneman’s Rent Act howled critics.”

Yahapalana said the Rent Act, No. 7 of 1972 which limits the ownership of houses and the rent to be charged requires amendments. Paddy Lands Act, No. 1 of 1958 and the Agricultural Lands Act, No. 42 of 1973 will be amended to allow the farming of alternate crops. Shop and Office Employees Act, No. 15 of 1954 will be amended, allowing the employees flexibility in choosing their working hours,  including permitting women to work at night. In addition, reported critics, Yahapalana government brought in amendments to the Exchange Control Act, which in effect prevents any investigation into money laundering and terrorism.

Let us look at some specific laws passed by Yahapalana. A new election system was introduced by Local Government Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act No. 16 of 2017.  This Bill had been initially gazetted to correct some technical glitches in the Local Government Elections Law.  Then at the committee stage of the Bill, after the second reading had been passed, Yahapalana brought forward several totally new amendments which changed the entire electoral system.

Instead of presenting a Bill to change the system of elections and getting it examined by the Supreme Court, Yahapalana changed the entire system of local government elections by bringing amendments to a Bill at the Committee stage in Parliament, charged critics. An entirely new system of elections was brought in at committee stage, they said.  The Bill that was finally passed by Parliament was not the Bill that was gazetted and introduced in Parliament or even read the second time. It was something totally different, said Chandraprema. The Joint Opposition was not given time to read the new amendments, Yahapalana rammed the Bill through Parliament. It had the support of the UNP, SLFP (Sirisena faction), the JVP, the SLMC, ACMC and the passive participation of the TNA, said Chandraprema.

Yahapalana carried out this trick equally successfully for Provincial Council elections. There was an urgent need to change the system of elections to the Provincial Councils as well, since the Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provincial Councils were getting dissolved in September and October 2017, observed Chandraprema. Sure enough in September 2017, just a day or two before the Councils were dissolved; the government changed the Provincial Councils elections system, by bringing in The Provincial Councils (Amd) Act No. 17 of 2017.

Once again the method in which this change was effected was by bringing sweeping committee stage amendments to a Bill that had originally been gazetted to increase women’s representation in the Provincial Councils. The Amendments moved at the Committee Stage were not there when the Bill was gazetted nor were they made available to the Members at the Second Reading stage. Members had no opportunity to study the contents of the Amendments.

Rev. Vimal Tirimanne commented on the utterly undemocratic and anti-Constitutional way in which the Provincial Council Elections Amendment Act was finally bull-dozed through the Parliament. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka too pointed out that the due Parliamentary process was not followed in passing this Act. The Act was rushed through and passed in Parliament when the Supreme Court had given a clear ruling that the extension of the terms of the Provincial Councils or a postponement of their elections would require a referendum in addition to a two thirds majority in parliament.

Yahapalana passed a heavily diluted National Audit Bill. The original bill had a provision to impose a fine of Rs. 100,000 on officials who furnish false information during audit queries. The fine has been brought down to Rs 5,000 by an amendment. The original bill contained provisions, enabling the commission to investigate special projects outsourced to private companies. “That provision has been removed. Similarly, the powers of the Auditor General as regards internal audits of statutory bodies including government corporations, boards, authorities have also been removed, said critics.

The Bill prohibited Right to Information requests on Audit inquiries. Audit officers could not divulge any information regarding their audits. It was an offence to do so. This also applied to ‘any person appointed to any office under this Act or any other person assisting any such person for the purpose of carrying out the provisions under this Act or a qualified auditor engaged by the Auditor General’. The information must placed before Parliament and prior consent be given in writing of the person or institution providing the information, in order for the information to be released.

Yahapalana got the Foreign Exchange Act No 12 of 2017 passed. There were petitions to Supreme Court against this Bill. MP Bandula Gunawardena stated in his petition  that clauses 2(2), 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32 of the Bill are in violation of and inconsistent with Articles 03, 04, 12(1), 14(1)(g), 75 and 148 of the Constitution. Also that clauses 2(2), 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22 and 24 of the Foreign Exchange Bill deprive and abrogate the power of Parliament to have full control over public finance as enshrined by Article 148 of the Constitution.

The petitioner further stated that the said Bill took away the powers of the Central Bank and the Monetary Board to supervise, regulate and control matters in relation to foreign exchange including gold, currency, payments, securities, debts and import, export, transfer and settlement of property as provided by the Exchange Control Act No.24 of 1953.The Bill empowers the Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers with the authority to regulate and control matters in relation to foreign exchange and all institutions dealing with foreign exchange,” the petitioner added.

Nagananda Kodituwakku stated in his petition that the Bill needed approval at a referendum, it violated Article 83 of the Constitution, he said. Kodituwakku also briefed the court regarding the danger in abolishing existing regulatory mechanism. He warned that Sri Lanka could be a haven for those who had been engaged in money laundering operations.

Kodituwakku said the government made a deliberate attempt to deprive interested parties of an opportunity to challenge Foreign Exchange Bill within stipulated seven days by placing it on Order Paper of Parliament on Friday April 7, 2017. Supreme Court would be on vacation during second and third weeks of April 2017. The Bill could therefore be adopted by Parliament without being challenged in the Supreme Court.

The Enforced Disappearances Protection Bill   had been presented to Parliament twice and then withdrawn due to protests from the Maha sangha and the public.  Karaka Sangha Sabhas of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters had asked the government not to proceed with this legislation. The Bill w as re-presented and passed in March 2018. In the confusion surrounding the Sinhala-Muslim riots, the government rammed through the Enforced Disappearances Bill, observed Chandraprema. If not for the Sinhala-Muslim riots, this law may never have seen the light of day.

The Joint Opposition had asked for more time to debate the Bill. This had been agreed to, and the vote was not going to be taken on another day, but the Speaker had suddenly put it to the vote and declared the Bill to be passed. It has been passed in violation of the Standing Orders of Parliament.

MP Dinesh Gunawardena remarked that the Speaker had said that more time would be given to the MPs to discuss the Bill because the time allocated for the debate was not sufficient. But, the Bill was passed on the same day without any more time being given to the Joint Opposition. This is a violation of Standing Orders. MP Gajadheera wanted to participate in the debate but he was not given a chance. That was why we wanted you to postpone the debate, Gunawardena added.

In August 2016, the Office of Missing Persons Bill was bulldozed through Parliament by the UNP, the SLFP government group, the JVP and the TNA despite the objections raised by the Joint Opposition. Less than 40 minutes was allowed to debate this new law. Then a vote was taken and the Speaker declared the Bill to have been passed.  Among other matters, the Act protects members of the OMP as well as officers, servants and consultants of the OMP from Right to Information scrutiny in respect of ‘matters communicated to them in confidence’.

Yahapalana brought in the Active Liability Management Bill which said that Parliament may, from time to time, by resolution, approve to raise a sum of money which will not exceed 10% of the total outstanding debt as at the end of the preceding financial year, as a loan whether in or outside Sri Lanka, for moneys to be raised on behalf of the Government for the purposes of refinancing and pre-financing of public debts of the Government.

The Joint Opposition said that through the Bill, the government tried to remove public finance control from parliament. “We cannot let this be passed without any amendments”.  Also, the bill gave legal immunity to certain Central Bank officials and the subject Minister in charge of the Central Bank.

However, despite chaos reigning in Parliament once again, the Active Liability Management Bill was passed by the House in March 2018. The Joint Opposition group MPs left the Chamber in objection after a glitch in the voting. The Speaker continued with the Second Reading and Third Reading without the JO MPs, and the Bill was passed in the Committee Stage with a majority of 51 votes, reported the media. .

The government  presented a Bill in Parliament to amend the Judicature Act No. 2 of 1978 so as to make provision for the setting up of a permanent High Court at Bar to hear cases  relating to offences specified in the Sixth Schedule of the Act.

The Bill gives powers to the Permanent High Court at Bar to try a number of offences, including theft, dishonest misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust by public servants, banker, merchant or agent and dishonestly receiving stolen property etc. Cheating, forgery, making a false document, making or possessing a counterfeit seal, plate etc, with intent to commit a forgery and offences of money laundering can also be directed to these separate courts. Bribery of judicial officers, Members of Parliament, Police officers, peace officers and other public officers also has been listed as an offence that can be tried in the permanent High court. Corruption, conspiracy and abetment to commit the offences under the Bribery Act are also an offence listed in the Bill.

There were a lot of objections to this Bill. One objection was that the Attorney-General and the Director General of the Commission for the Prevention of Bribery and Corruption, will have the discretion to selectively refer cases to the proposed permanent High Courts at Bar.  Prosecuting officers will thus have the power to arbitrarily select cases to be referred to this Court, while other cases of a similar nature will be sent through the normal courts system.

The President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka U.R. de Silva petitioned the Supreme Court against this proposed amendment, in his capacity as President of the BASL . The Executive Committee of the BASL and the Bar Council, had expressed grave concern of the Bar regarding this Bill and had unanimously resolved to apply to the SC challenging its constitutional validity.

Thus the entire legal profession in the country is now opposed to this proposed amendment, observed Chandraprema. Among the arguments put forward by the BASL was that, there is no Court known as permanent High Court at Bar in law, and thus this Bill cannot be passed. The opposition to this piece of proposed legislation, designed to ‘kangaroofy’ the existing courts system, is unlike anything we have seen in recent times, Chandraprema concluded. However, the   Judicature (Amendment)” Bill was passed with amendments in Parliament in May 2018 with a majority of 67 votes.

CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL.

The 19th amendment to the Constitution led to the creation of a Constitutional Council. There is a Constitutional Council in France established in 1958. This is its highest constitutional authority. The Council must rule on whether proposed statutes conform with the Constitution, after they have been voted by Parliament and before they are signed into law by the President. However, the Constitutional Council of Sri Lanka has nothing to do with the Constitution. The Constitutional Council is not about the Constitution at all and the term Constitutional Council” is not an appropriate term”, observed Laksiri Fernando.

The Constitutional Council consists of Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament; the Leader of the Opposition, one person appointed by the President, five persons appointed by the President, on the nomination of both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and one person nominated by agreement of the majority of the Members of Parliament belonging to political parties or independent groups, other than the respective political parties or independent groups to which the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition belong, and appointed by the President.

The ‘five persons’ mentioned above must reflects the pluralistic character of Sri Lankan society, including professional and social diversity and those  who are not MPs must persons of eminence and integrity who have distinguished  themselves in public or professional life and who are not members of any political party.

The main function of the Constitutional Council  is to recommend the chairman and members of the following national commissions: Election Commission,  Public Service Commission, National Police Commission, Audit Service Commission, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Finance Commission, The Delimitation Commission, National Procurement Commission, University Grants Commission and Official Languages Commission.  The Council must also recommend three persons for appointment as Chairmen of these Commissions, and the President must select out of these three.

The Council must also recommend three names each for the following appointments: (a) Chief Justice and the Judges of the Supreme Court. (b) The President and the Judges of the Court of Appeal. (c) The Members of the Judicial Service Commission, other than the Chairman. The Attorney-General (b) Auditor-General(c) Inspector-General of Police (d) Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman and (e) Secretary-General of Parliament. These recommendations must reflect the pluralistic character of Sri Lankan society, including gender.

The Council was appointed for three years and would continue to hold office even if Parliament was dissolved. It is not a Parliamentary committee, and is not answerable to Parliament. It does not seem answerable to anybody.

This Constitutional Council has been viewed as yet another Yahapalana trick. The Constitutional Council, which is entrusted with functions of the highest importance, including recommendation for the appointment of such key personnel as the Chief Justice, the Attorney-General, the Inspector-General of Police and Chairmen of the ‘independent’ Commissions, consists of 10 members, with the Speaker as Chairman, said G.L.Pieris.

The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, who are members ex officio, are vested with responsibility for identifying 5 other persons to be appointed members of the Constitutional Council. The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, together with their 5 nominees, therefore comprise a group of 7 persons, making up an overwhelming majority of the total membership of the Constitutional Council. This would enable the government, acting through a pliable and accommodative Constitutional Council, to appoint anybody they like, overlooking seniority for instance, concluded Pieris.

The Constitutional Council has failed to live up to public expectations. It is controlled by a group of politicians bound by a common political agenda, said Island editorial. Many thought that the appointment of the so called independent commissions would put an end to political interference.

Chandraprema   commented, Yahapalana hegemons proceeded to appoint a Constitutional Council made up only of Yahapalanites and they stuffed all the independent commissions including the Elections Commission full of Yahapalanites. The Judicial Services Commission is the only body that escaped this fate because it was made up of persons already serving in the Courts system. With the Constitutional Council dominated completely by Yahapalanites, all those appointed to high posts were also Yahapalanites and they went about this with brazen indifference as to how this arrangement looks like from the outside, concluded Chandraprema.

INCOME TAX

Yahapalana passed a new Tax Revenue Act No. 24 of 2017, which came into effect on April 1 2018. The bill was a joint product of the IMF and the Government. The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) joint Trade union Committee protested saying the new Bill has been prepared without consulting IRD officials.

There was a hidden agenda in the Bill to separate the implementation of statutes and tax administrative functions of the department, they said.  Tax administration would be politicized after the enactment of this Bill. This will affect the promotional prospects, job security and benefits of IRD employees. Taxpayers will be burdened with new taxes and the government will lose, not gain, revenue by the time officers familiarize themselves with the new law and procedures.

The new Bill   gives unprecedented powers going beyond the existing statutes, to the Finance Minister.  Minister has power to inspect tax files of individuals. He also has the power to appoint teams of tax officers, ignoring the Service Minute of the Department. Further, tax officers may no longer be required to give reasons for rejecting assessments, and the Finance Minister may increase income tax rates without Parliamentary approval. There is a circular that if you need clarification on how to pay the tax you have to pay Rs 25,000 first, added Bandula Gunawardena.

This new Tax Revenue Act was intended to tax as many persons as possible in as many ways as possible. The Tax net was widened to catch hitherto untapped bases such as informal hotel, private medical practice, large scale private tuition, buying and selling and other un-registered businesses. The   Inland Revenue department was also going to look at the incomes of those who owned cars and went on foreign vacations. Several escape routes for avoiding income tax would be closed.

All citizens above the age of 18 will be placed under scrutiny for tax liability. IRD would maintain a profile of all citizens above the age of 18 and monitor their bank transactions, purchases and payment of utility bills to determine whether they should be made liable for tax payments. For this, the IRD had linked up with about 35 state institutions, including the Motor Traffic Department, banks, the Department for the Registrar of Persons, the Credit Information Bureau and the Board of Investment.

Sri Lanka’s private sector professionals are set to lose a large portion of their take-home pay after a PAYE tax hike to 24 per cent from 16 per cent came into effect. Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Administrative Officers, top level accountants, and senior executives as well as senior managers and technical officers, will be taxed at 24 per cent of their take-home pay following the imposition of the new PAYE tax.

The Rs. 50,000 tax free vehicle allowance which was there prior to the budget has now been made liable to PAYE. Any private sector official having a company vehicle will have to pay an additional sum of money as PAYE tax. Non cash benefits (vehicle, driver and fuel) would also be added the taxpayer’s person’s salary before calculating PAYE.

Under the old rates a person earning Rs.100, 000 and a transport allowance of Rs.50, 000 had to pay Rs. 1500 as taxes. A transport allowance of up to Rs. 50,000 for a car and petrol was tax free. Under the new tax rates, the employee deemed to be earning Rs. 150,000 will be taxed at Rs.2000 a month while a person earning Rs. 150,000 and a transport allowance of Rs. 50,000 would be taxed Rs. 5,501 a month.

All those who received services for a fee from all state agencies will have to pay 15 per cent more than what they have been paying three years ago, Until April 1 2018 the first vehicle was exempted from the tax. But now they will consider it for taxation.

The 300% deduction of expenditure incurred by any entity registered with the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) for standard skills development training recognized by the TVEC, was withdrawn.”

Doctors complained at length that they were discriminated against. They were not a favored category. Even their poorly paid disturbance and availability & transport allowance taxed 100% as. .

This has deepened the anomaly we faced as medical specialists (who are SL 3 level) on our transport allowance. We are only paid Rs 35,000 as DAT allowance which is paid to cover disturbance, availability and transport all together. This is far below the transport allowance we are entitled as SL 3 officers. Furthermore, this meager allowance is also subjected to 100% PAYE tax. This is outrageous and frustrates the medical specialists as government did not revise the DAT allowance and failed to give any tax relief to both DAT allowance and extra duty payments, “said the Association of Medical Specialists.

“Recent tax act doubled the tax doctors had to pay by increasing the tax from 12 to 24%. Though this was for all professionals, specialist consultants got singled out as only their income is transparent. Changes in the new tax act to give major tax relief to Ministers and higher officials of the government showing clear double standards, the AMS said.

Irrespective of the number of vehicles used, the tax is calculated only for one vehicle, giving Ministers to have any number of vehicles, drivers and fuel without having to pay taxes for the extra vehicles. Even for the single vehicle they had to pay taxes, the value of each vehicle has been brought down by substantive amount. Earlier the value of an above 3000 cc vehicle per month was added as Rs 75,000, a driver as Rs. 20,000 and fuel as 40,000 for taxable monthly income in calculating PAYE, but this is now reduced to only Rs. 35,000 for the vehicle, 10,000 for driver and 30,000 for fuel.”Relief is also given to all other government officers who are provided an official vehicle as non-cash benefit (though most have only one vehicle) by substantially reducing the value of this facility for taxing the AMS concluded.

All pension funds, including the EPF, above a total lump sum payout of Rs. 2 million will be subjected to taxes of 5 to 10 per cent.  All other employee payments, including employee compensation, termination allowances and other imbursements will also be taxed.

Sri Lanka’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is now compelled to pay a staggering 28 per cent tax. This was highly unreasonable as private sector employees were solely dependent on their EPF benefits for the rest of their lives after retirement, critics said. This would result in a drastic reduction in the interest paid to the EPF beneficiaries. Earlier they were paid 10.5 percent interest by investing the EPF monies on Treasury bills and bonds. But with the new Act it had been decided to reduce the interest rate to nine percent.

The new Act slapped unprecedented taxes on artistes and their creations. Majority of artistes spend their own funds for producing films, teledramas and dramas. Returns on their investment are low and now the government plans to tax them, the artistes complained. There had been a 50 per cent tax concession for dramatists during the first year of their dramas. That, too, has been removed by the new tax law.

However, Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera had opened a special VAT refund counter at the Katunayake International Airport departure terminal to serve international travelers. This was for the re-payment of 15% VAT to foreign tourists on departure, for goods purchased during their stay in Sri Lanka.

IMF sources said introducing amendments to the Tax Bill is unacceptable as it was prepared through extensive collaboration with the Sri Lankan authorities over the past year and incorporates feedback from local experts. However, Yahapalana announced that several amendments would be made to withdraw taxes imposed on savings accounts of small children and local artistes. The 5 per cent withholding tax imposed on children’s bank savings accounts under the age of 18 will be removed after passing the amendment in parliament and issuing the necessary circular towards this end to all commercial banks, Yahapalana said in August 2018.

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Inland Revenue Bill, saying some of the fundamental features of the present legal regime under the Inland Revenue Act No 10 of 2006 have been omitted in the new Bill and that this is in direct contravention with Articles 3 and/or 4(c) or 4(d) or 12(1) and/or 14 (1)(a) and/ or 148 of the Constitution.

The petitioner claimed that Section 163(3) of the Inland Revenue Act No. 10 of 2006 makes it a mandatory requirement for the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue to give reasons for the rejection of a return filed by the taxpayer. This fundamental requirement has been omitted in the impugned Bill thus rendering the said Bill inconsistent with the Constitution. His petition states that the disclosure of reasons for rejection of the return is a mandatory precondition for taxpayers to determine whether an appeal should be lodged.

The new Bill has omitted some sections of the Inland Revenue Act No. 10 of 2006 (as amended) ,sections which conferred exemptions on the sources of income such as; interest gained on money lying as credits in foreign currency in any commercial bank accounts, or any interests on money lying in foreign currency in a bank account in Sri Lanka or profits and income earned in foreign currency from outside Sri Lanka, by any resident individual, resident company or any partnership of Sri Lanka from services rendered outside Sri Lanka.

The proposed Bill fails to impose time limits on the Inland Revenue Commissioner General to exercise certain powers, the petition continued. While claiming that certain clauses of the bill violate the rights of taxpayers under the Constitution, the petitioner notes that in addition to the serious prejudice to tax payers, it will have an adverse effect on the country’s tax framework by causing ambiguity and uncertainty. Some clauses of the said bill are not referable and are in violation and or in excess of the provisions of Article 15 (7) of the Constitution.”The petitioner states that he learned from media reports and information available in the public domain that the bill is based on a similar model introduced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Ghana in 2015 and now the same lending institution wants it introduced in Sri Lanka.

LAND BANK

The Government will be introducing legislation establishing a land bank,   said Governor, Central Bank, Indrajit Coomaraswamy. This will address a major constraint in the business environment by identifying pre-cleared land which will be available for private investment projects. Land titling is another issue which is receiving attention. Other land-related issues under consideration include the removal of archaic laws and the need for a comprehensive review of land use/crop mix, he concluded.

Movement for Land and Agricultural Reforms (MONLAR) said that the government had been attempting to establish a ‘land bank’ since 2016 to bring all state lands, under various institutions together. ” Yahapalana is attempting to make 981,368 acres of land, under Land Reform Commission, available to investors, “Now they are finalizing this process.” MONLAR called on the public to oppose this decision to establish a land bank.

Certain other Yahapalana decisions relating to land deserve mention here. There is considerable planned takeover of lands. Villagers in and around Akurela, Ambalangoda protested against a proposed tourist zone using   50 acres of marshy land. They complained that they would get meager compensation and the Galduwa monastery too would be removed.

Uva Wellassa People Rights Protection Front staged a protest over the plan to give     62,000 acres of Uva land to a Singaporean company. The march was led by a group of bhikkus. Petitioners from Ridimaliyadde in Uva Wellassa protested against Yahapalana taking over their lands for a sugar cane farm. They signed the petition with thumbprints using their    blood. (Derana news 15.9. 18)

Farmer organizations in the Anuradhapura district, representing Mahakanadarawa, Rajangane, Padaviya, Wahalkade, Nachchaduwa, Nuwarawewa and Galenbidunawewa, wanted the conditions in relation to the Bimsaviya land alienation scheme be revised and the surveying and other fees be reduced. The majority of land being surveyed for issuing Bimsaviya ownership certificates belonged to low-income group farmer families and it was not fair to levy a sum of around Rs. 75,000 per allotment for surveying, they said.

CITIZEN DATA BANK.

In August 2017, the media reported that the Department of Registration of Persons was going   to build a central database containing comprehensive information on every citizen, containing entire family trees.  The information to be held in the database will contain full name, date of birth, NIC of father, mother, guardian, spouse and siblings, children and adopted children and their civil status,

The data base will also carry information on vehicles, phone numbers, houses and    other property owned. It will hold information on the person’s employment history, EPF and ETF  information, bank transactions, credit cards,  savings, fixed deposits, investments, Income tax file, registered businesses and directorships held, share market trading accounts, travel details, airline tickets and visits to hotels.

In addition, the heads of all public institutions are obliged to provide whatever information requested to National Registry of Persons. This will enable databases within such institutions as the Inland Revenue, Land Registry, RMV, EPF/ETF, Stock Market, Registrar of companies, to be linked to the National Registry of Persons providing a comprehensive database of citizens and their families.

The database can be accessed by the Defense Secretary and other officials without a court order, which critics warn is taking the country speedily towards a surveillance state. The regulations were issued under a law already passed in Parliament, which gives the Defence Secretary powers to examine the record of any citizen, even those who had not committed any crime, without a court order.

The regulations sought data on the person, his family, children, spouse, building an entire family tree in a central database, the media said. It will include divorce case files and email addresses. It will be a single registry with information on family structure and economic characteristics. It will contain comprehensive data, profiling every citizen, and giving virtually unrestricted access to any information concerning any citizen recorded with any public authority”.

Some of the data contained in the current paper ID also rests in various Government departments but they are held separately. No one department has a complete profile of a citizen. The registrar of births has details of births and the parents/grandparents. The land registry has details of property, the RMV has details of vehicle ownership and the Inland Revenue has details of income and tax. These records are maintained within various departments for administrative purposes only. They are never issued to outsiders except by court order.

Any person trying to extract a profile of a person would need to be armed with multiple court orders and spend a lot of time going from department to department collecting data. It is a very time consuming and cumbersome exercise which cannot be undertaken lightly and is subject to many checks and balances. Apart from the requirement for court orders, internal administrative procedures within each department will need to be followed before information is issued.

Now details are to be held in a central database that is freely and legally accessible to a wide variety of officials with no necessity of recourse to court orders. Being automated, anyone can easily build a full profile of a person and it is not difficult to imagine the extent to which this can be misused.

The potential risks with this are vast. Quite apart from unauthorized access, the data is widely accessible: to any public officer” or authority in the interests of national security or for the prevention or detection of a crime. The term public officer” could include most categories of public servants.

The term prevention or detection of a crime” is also extremely broad; no crime needs to be committed, a mere suspicion of any potential crime, however remote or improbably linked to a person is ground to access the data. The bill pays little attention to the handling of this sensitive data, once legitimately accessed.

Sri Lanka has presented regulations in parliament to create a, database on citizens which can be accessed by the defense secretary and other officials without a court order, which critics warn is taking the country speedily towards a surveillance state.

Regulations which will eventually make it possible for authorities to create an electronic ID a data base of personal and family information including biometric data was presented to parliament. The administration has not even made pretence that inclusion in the database will be voluntary. In addition to personal and family data, the law also provides for unspecified ‘other information’ to be collected and stored, making it an open-ended Pandora’s Box, critics say. An E-NIC data base is an irresistible target for hackers, both domestic and foreign, which in industry parlance is referred to as a ‘honeypot’. (Continued)

විශ්වාසභංග තුණ්ඩුවට පසු …

November 20th, 2018

ආචාර්ය වරුණ චන්ද්‍රකීර්ති

තුණ්ඩුවෙන් කඩ වහන කාලයක් තිබුණා. ඒ, මීට අවුරුදු 30 කට විතර කලින්. ඒ කාලයේ අපේ රටේ තත්ත්වය බොහෝම අස්ථාවරයි. එක පැත්තකින් කොටි සංවිධානය අවි අමෝරාගෙන උතුරු සහ නැගෙනහිර පළාත්වලට වෙලා හිටියා. අනිත් පැත්තෙන් ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ දියත්කරපු ආයුධ සන්නද්ධ අරගලයක් දකුණු පළාත්වල ක්‍රියාත්මක වුනා. ඒ අරගලය මර්දනය කරන්න කියලා හිතාගෙන ආණ්ඩුවත් හරි හරියට මිනී මැරුවා. ඒ මදිවට සාමසාධක ලේබලයක් අලවගෙන ආපු ඉන්දියන් හමුදාව උතුරු සහ නැගෙනහිර පළාත්වල පැළපදියම්වෙලා හිටියා. ප්‍රා, කළු බළල්ලු වගේ නම් දාගත්ත සංවිධානත් අඩුවක් නැතුව ක්‍රියාත්මක වුනා. ඒ ඔක්කොම මැද්දේ එක්සත් ජාතික පක්‍ෂය ඇතුළේ බල අරගලයකුත් ක්‍රියාත්මක වෙමින් තිබුණා.

ඉතින් 1988 දෙසැම්බර් මාසයේ 19 වැනි දා පවත්වන්න නියමිත වෙච්ච ජනාධිපතිවරණය වෙනුවෙන් නාමයෝජනා භාරගත්තේ නොවැම්බර් මාසයේ 10 වැනි දා උදේ වරුවේ. රණසිංහ ප්‍රේමදාස මහත්තයාත්, සිරිමාවෝ බණ්ඩාරනායක මහත්මියත්, ඔසී අබේගුණසේකර මහත්තයාත් ඒ ජනාධිපතිවරණය වෙනුවෙන් නාමයෝජනා භාරදුන්නා. අන්තිමේ දී වලංගු ඡන්ද ප්‍රමාණයෙන් සියයට පනහ ඉක්මවලා ඡන්ද 21,810 ක් ලබාගත්ත ප්‍රේමදාස මහත්තයා ජනාධිපතිවරණයෙන් ජයග්‍රහණය කළා.

ඒක මහා කලබල කාලයක්. ඉතින් ඇඳිරි නීතිය පනවන එකත් දවල් රෑ නැතුව සිද්දවුනා. ඇඳිරි නීතිය පැනෙව්වේ ආණ්ඩුවෙන් විතරක් නෙවෙයි. ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණත් හරි හරියට ඇඳිරි නීති පැනෙව්වා. ආණ්ඩුව ඇඳිරි නීතිය පැනෙව්වේ ජනමාධ්‍ය හරහා නිවේදන නිකුත්කරලා. ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ ඇඳිරි නීති පැනෙව්වේ පොඩි පොඩි තුණ්ඩු කෑලි බෙදලා. තුණ්ඩු කෑල්ලක් ලැබිච්ච ගමන් ම බයවෙන මිනිස්සු තමන්ගේ වෙළෙඳසල් වහලා දානවා. බස් දුවන එක නවත්තනවා. කර්මාන්ත ශාලා වහලා දානවා. ඉතින් මිනිස්සු රස්සාවලට යන එකත් නවතිනවා. ඒත් මේ වැඩේ බොහොම සාමකාමීව සිද්දවෙන්නේ නෑ. මොකද මේ තුණ්ඩු කෑල්ලෙන් කඩ වහන වැඩේට ඉඩදෙන්න පුළුවන්කමක් ආණ්ඩුවට නෑ. ඉතින් ආණ්ඩුවට සම්බන්ධ බලය ක්‍රියාත්මක කරපු පිරිස් කඩ අරින්න, බස් දුවන්න, වැඩපොළවල් අරින්න කියලා මිනිස්සුන්ට බලකරනවා. කඩ ඇරියත් වෙඩිකන්න වෙනවා. කඩ වහගෙන හිටියත් වෙඩිකන්න වෙනවා. ඉතින් ඒක මහා භයානක කාලයක්!

1988 අවුරුද්දේ මේ කලබල සිද්දවෙන කාලය වෙද්දි අපේ අනුර කුමාර දිසානායක මහත්තයා ගජ ඉලංදාරියෙක්. හරියට ම වයස අවුරුදු 20 යි. ඉපැදිලා තියෙනවා කියන්නේ 1968 අවුරුද්දේ නොවැම්බර් මාසයේ 24 වැනි දා කියලා කියනවානේ. ඉතින් ඒ වෙද්දි එතුමා ඉස්කෝලේ ගිහිල්ලා ඉවරවුනා විතරයි කියලා කියන්නත් පුළුවන්. ඉස්කෝලත් නිතර නිතර ම වහපු හින්දා ඒ වැඩේ වුනත් හරියට කරගන්න අමාරුවෙන්න ඇති. විජිත හේරත් මහත්තයා ඉපැදිලා තියෙන්නෙත් 1968 අවුරුද්දේ ම තමයි. හැබැයි එතුමා අපේ අනුර මහත්තයාට වඩා මාස කීපයකින් වැඩිමහළුයි. මොකද විජිත මහත්තයා ඉපැදිලා තියෙන්නේ මැයි මාසයේ. ඉස්කෝලේ ගමන ඉවරවෙච්ච ගමන් ම හින්දා ඔය තුණ්ඩු බෙදන වැඩවලට මේ දෙන්නා සම්බන්ධ වුනා කියලා හිතන්න අමාරුයි.

දැන් කොහොම හරි මේ මහත්තුරු දෙන්නාගේ වයසත් අවුරුදු පනහක් වෙලා. එකතුව නෙවෙයි. වෙන වෙන ම. විජිත මහත්තයා අවුරුදු 18 ක් ම පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රීවරයෙක් විදිහට කටයුතු කරලා තියෙනවා. ඒ වුනාට, අනුර මහත්තයාගේ පාර්ලිමේන්තු ආයුෂ තවමත් අවුරුදු 14 යි. කොහොම වුනත්, දැන් අනුර මහත්තයා තමයි විජිත මහත්තයාගේ ලොක්කා. පක්‍ෂ නායකයා.

මේ අවුරුද්දේ තමන්ගේ ජීවිතයේ රන් ජුබිලිය සමරන විජිත මහත්තයායි, අනුර මහත්තයායි එකතුවෙලා පහුගිය නොවැම්බර් 14 වැනි දා කතානායකතුමාට යෝජනාවක් භාරදුන්නා. 15 වැනි දා තව එකක් භාරදුන්නා කියලාත් කියනවා. ඒවා අගමැතිතුමා ප්‍රමුඛ ආණ්ඩුවට විරුද්ධව ඉදිරිපත් කරපු විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනා කියලායි කියන්නේ. ඒත් ඒ ලියැවිලි දෙක විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනා විදිහට ආණ්ඩුව පිළිගන්නේ නෑ. විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනාවක් ඉදිරිපත්කරන පිළිවෙලක් තියෙනවා කියලා ආණ්ඩුව කියනවා. ඒ වැඩේ කරන්නේ මෙහෙමයි කියලා පැහැදිළි කරලා පියවර 12 ක් තියෙන ක්‍රමවේදයක් ආණ්ඩුවෙන් ප්‍රසිද්ධ කරලා. ඉතින් දැන් සමහරු කියන්නේ අනුර මහත්තයයි විජිත මහත්තයයි එකතුවෙලා තුණ්ඩුවක් දීලා ආණ්ඩුව අයින් කරන්න උත්සාහ කළා කියලා.

ඒ කතාව කොහොම වුනත් මේ ‍සෙල්ලම හින්දා පහුගිය දවස් කීපයේ ම අපේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුව ගිණිගත්තා. සමහරු පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට පිහි ගෙනාවා. ඊට පහුවදා තවත් සමහරු පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට මිරිස් කුඩු ගෙනාවා. මුන් කට්ටිය එකතුවෙලා පාර්ලිමේන්තුව ඇතුළේ අපිට හොරෙන් අඹ කනවා” කියලා මේක දැකපු සමහර මිනිස්සු කියන්න පටන්ගත්තා. ඒ කතා මොනවා වුනත්, කොහොම හරි ඇතිවෙලා තියෙන්නේ මහා අවුලක්. ජංජාලයක්!

අනුර මහත්තයායි විජිත මහත්තයායි විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනාව ඉදිරිපත් කළේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ ස්ථාවර නියෝග අත්හිටුවලාලු. ඒ වැඩේ කරවලා දීලා තියෙන්නේ සුමන්තිරන් මහත්තයාලු. පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ස්ථාවර නියෝග හඳුන්වලා දීලා තියෙන්නේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ කටයුතු විනයානුකූලවත් අර්ථාන්විතවත් ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමේ අරමුණින් කියලා ඒ නියෝග ගැන කරන හැඳින්වීමේ ම කියලා තියෙනවා. එහෙම නම්, මොකට ද ඒවා අත්හිටුවන්නේ? ආණ්ඩුවට විරුද්ධ ඒ යෝජනාව විනයානුකූලව සහ අර්ථාන්විතව” සම්මත කරගන්න උවමනාවක් නැති ද?

කොහොම හරි විනයානුකූල සහ අර්ථාන්විත” නොවන විදිහට සම්මත කරගත්තා කියලා කියන ඒ යෝජනා පිළිගන්න බෑ කියලා ජනාධිපතිතුමා අවසාන තීන්දුවක් දීලා. විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනාවක් සම්මත කරගන්න ඕන පිළිවෙතත් පියවරෙන් පියවරට එතුමා පැහැදිළි කරලා දීලා. ඒ මොනවා කිව්වාත් ඉස්සරහට ආයෙත් විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනා ගේන්න අදහසක් නෑ කියලා එක්සත් ජාතික පෙරමුණට සම්බන්ධ මන්ත්‍රීවරු දැන් කියනවා. ඒ අය උත්සාහ කරන්නේ රජයේ අගමැතිවරයාට සහ ඇමැතිවරුන්ට අදාළ වියදම් වළක්වන යෝජනා වගයක් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කරලා ඒවා සම්මත කරවාගන්න. ඒත් ආණ්ඩුව කියන්නේ ඒ විදිහේ මුදල් යෝජනා ඉදිරිපත් කරන්න පුළුවන් ආණ්ඩු පක්‍ෂයට විතරයි කියලා. ඉතින් ඒ හින්දා, මේ ගැන දැනුම්වත් වෙන්න අවස්ථාවකුත් අපිට ඉදිරියේ දී ලැබෙයි. ඒ හින්දා මේ පළහිලව්වට කොපමණ මුදලක් සහ කාලයක් වැය වුනත්, මේ හරහා ඉගෙනගන්න ලැබෙන දේවල් ගැන හිතද්දි නම් ඇතිවෙන්නේ එක්තරා ආකාරයක සතුටක්. මොන විදිහකින් හරි යමක් කමක් ඉගෙනගන්න අවස්ථාවක් ලැබෙන එකේ වැරැද්දක් නෑනේ.

ස්ථාවර නියෝග අත්හිටුවලා මේ විදිහේ සෙල්ලම් කරපු තවත් අවස්ථා ගැන අපිට ඉතිහාසයෙන් බලාගන්න පුළුවන්. මේ ගැන තේරුම්ගන්න 19 වැනි සංශෝධනය, කතානායක කරු ජයසූරිය මහත්තයා, ඒ වගේ ම අපේ අනුර මහත්තයා සම්බන්ධ වෙච්ච ඉතිහාස කතාවක් කියන්නම්.

මේ පවතින පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට කියන්නේ අටවන පාර්ලිමේන්තුව කියලා. අටවැනි පාර්ලිමේන්තුව කියලා කිව්වා නම් තමයි වඩා නිවැරැදි. ඒත් හැන්සාඩ් වාර්තාවේ පවා තියෙන්නේ අටවන” පාර්ලිමේන්තුව කියලා. මේ කට්ටිය එකතුවෙලා අටවන දේවල් ගැන හිතලා එහෙම කියනවා වෙන්නත් පුළුවන්. මේ අටවන” පාර්ලිමේන්තුව දෙවැනි වතාවට රැස්වුනේ 2015 සැප්තැම්බර් මාසයේ 3 වැනි දා බ්‍රහස්පතින්දා. එදා උදේ 9.30 ට සභාවේ කටයුතු පටන් ඇරගෙන පැයක් විතර කාලයක් වාද විවාද කරගත්තාට පස්සේ රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහත්තයා ඉංග්‍රීසි භාෂාවෙන් සභාවට යම් කාරණයක් දැනුම් දෙනවා. ඒ කාරණාව බොහොම කෙටි එකක්. එතුමා කියනවා ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ 46 (4) වගන්තිය ප්‍රකාරව එක්සත් ජාතික පක්‍ෂය ජාතික ආණ්ඩුවක් පිහිටුවාගෙන ඉන්න හින්දා කැබිනට් ඇමැතිවරු ගණන 48 ක් ඉක්මවන්නේ නැති විදිහටත් කැබිනට් නොවන රාජ්‍ය ඇමැතිවරු සහ නියෝජ්‍ය ඇමැතිවරු ගණන 45 ක් ඉක්මන්නේ නැති විදිහටත් පත්කරගන්නවා” කියලා.

මේ ප්‍රකාශය ඉදිරිපත් කළේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ ස්ථාවර නියෝග අත්හුටුවලා. ඒ බව මේ ප්‍රකාශයට විරුද්ධව මුලින් ම අදහස් ඉදිරිපත්කරපු අපේ අනුර මහත්තයාගේ කතාවේ ම සඳහන් වෙලා තියෙනවා. “දැන් මේ කාරණය ශ්‍රේෂඨාධිකරණය හමුවට ගිහින් විසඳාගත යුතු ප්‍රශ්නයක්. ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයෙන් මේ සඳහා අර්ථ නිරූපණයක් ගත යතුව තිබෙනවා. හැබැයි ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයෙන් අර්ථ නිරූපණයක් ගන්න බැහැ. ස්ථාවර නියෝග අත්හිටුවලා. හෙට කැබිනට් මණ්ඩලය දිවුරුම් දීම වෙනුවෙන් අද ඔබතුමන්ලා මෙම යෝජනාව ගෙනැල්ලා තිබෙනවා. ඒ නිසා මෙයට ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයෙන් අර්ථ නිරූපණයක් ලබාගැනීම සඳහා අපට අවස්ථාවක් නැතිව ගිහින් තිබෙනවා.”

ඒ කියන්නේ, ජාතික ආණ්ඩුවට අදාළ ඒ යෝජනාව ගැන විනයානුකූල සහ අර්ථාන්විත” විදිහට සාකච්ඡා කරලා එකඟතාවකට එන්න තිබුණු ඉඩ වළක්වලා තිබිලා තියෙනවා. කොහොම හරි ඒ වෙලාවේ කට්ටිය වාදකරන්නේ සහ” සහ හෝ” කියන වචන දෙක භාවිත කරලා තියෙන විදිහ ගැන. ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණත් දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානයත් ජාතික ආණ්ඩුවකට එකතු නොවන හින්දා හෝ” කියන වචනය දැම්මා කියලා රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහත්තයා තර්ක කරනවා. ඒත් මේ කාරණයට අදාළ තීරක ස්ථානයේ තියෙන්නේ හෝ” කියන වචනය නොවන බවත් එම ස්ථානයේ තියෙන්‍නේ සහ” කියන වචනය බවත් අනුර මහත්තයා පෙන්නලා දෙනවා.

මේ වැඩේට දිනේෂ් ගුණවර්ධන මහත්තයාගේ උදව්වත් අනුර මහත්තයාට ලැබිලා තියෙනවා. ඊට අමතරව, ශ්‍රී ලංකා නිදහස් පක්‍ෂය සමඟ ජාතික ආණ්ඩු ගිවිසුමක් අත්සන්කිරීමේ වලංගුභාවයත් එතුමා ප්‍රශ්නකරනවා. අනුර මහත්තයාගේ උදව්වට විමල් වීරවංශ මහත්තයාත් එකතුවෙනවා. “ගරු කථානායකතුමනි, ඒ නිසා මෙතැන ව්‍යාකූලත්වයක් තියෙනවා. ඔබතුමා අඩුම තරමින් නීතිපතිවරයාගේ උපදෙස්වත් ගන්න. එහෙම නැතිව මේ යෝජනාව මෙතැන විවාදයට ගන්න දෙන්න එපා. පාර්ලිමේන්තුව ව්‍යවස්ථාව උල්ලංඝනය කරන රඟමඬලක් බවට පත්කරන්න දෙන්න එපා” කියලා විමල් වීරවංශ මහත්තයා කියනවා. ඒ හින්දා, අපේ අනුර මහත්තයා මේ කාරණය ගැන වාදකරන්නේ ඉතා හොඳ සහයෝගයක් හැම පැත්තෙන් ම වගේ ලබාගෙන කියලාත් අපිට කියන්න පුළුවන්.

මේ තමයි 19 වැනි සංශෝධනය මුල් කරගෙන ඇතිවෙච්ච මුල් ම ආරවුල. ඒ වගේ ම, මේ තමයි අභිනවයෙන් පත් කරගත්ත කතානායක කරු ජයසූරිය මහත්තයාට මුලින් ම පැවැරිච්ච තීරණයක් ලබාදීමේ කාර්යය. මේ කාරණයේ දී කතානායක කරු ජයසූරිය මහත්තයා ලබාදුන්න තීරණය ගැන අපි හොඳින් ම දන්නවා. “පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ වැඩිම ආසන සංඛ්‍යාවක් ලබාගන්නා ලද පිළිගත් දේශපාලන පක්‍ෂය … සහ පාර්ලිමේන්තුව පිළිගනු ලබන ඕනෑම පිළිගත් දේශපාලන පක්‍ෂයක් … සමඟ ජාතික ආණ්ඩුවක් නිර්මාණයකිරීමට හැකියාව ඇති බව මම නිගමනය කරමි” කියලා එතුමා අන්තිමේ දී තමන්ගේ තීන්දුව ලබාදෙනවා.

ඊට පස්සේ පටන්ගත්තේ ඒ යෝජනාව පිළිබඳ විවාදය. පැය පහක් විතර කතාකළත් ඒ යෝජනාව ගැන කරපු විවාදයක් නම් නෑ කියලා කියන්නත් පුළුවන්. හුඟක් මන්ත්‍රීවරු කළේ තමන්ගේ මංගල දේශනාව. අන්තිමේ දී ප්‍රශ්නය අහලා කටහඬවල් අනුව “පක්‍ෂ” මන්ත්‍රීන්ට ජය බව කතානායකතුමා විසින් ප්‍රකාශ කරනු ලැබුවා. ඒත් ඒ තීන්දුව ගැන ලක්‍ෂමන් කිරිඇල්ල මහත්තයා සෑහීමකට පත්වුනේ නෑ. ඒ හින්දා නම අනුව ඡන්දය ගැනීමකුත් කරන්න කතානායකතුමාට සිද්දවුනා.

මේ තමයි කරු ජයසූරිය මහත්තයා කතානායක විදිහට පවත්වපු මුල් ම විවාදය සහ ඡන්ද විමසීම. මේ වැඩේ සිද්දවෙලා දැනට අවුරුදු තුනකට වඩා ගතවෙලා. දැන් ආපහු හැරිලා බලද්දි අපිට පැහැදිළිවෙනවා මේ අටවන” පාර්ලිමේන්තුව වැඩ පටන් ඇරගෙන ම තියෙන්නේ 19 වැනි සංශෝධනය මුල් කරගත්ත අවුලකින්. දැන් මේ අටවන” පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ වැඩ අවසන්වෙමින් තියෙන්නේත් 19 වැනි සංශෝධනය මුල් කරගත්ත තවත් අවුලකින්. එදා ඇතිවෙච්ච ඒ අවුල ගැන කරුණු කියන්න අපේ අනුර මහත්තයා සෑහෙන්න මහන්සි වුනා.

දැන් 19 ත්, කතානායකතුමාත්, අනුර මහත්තයාත් ආයෙත් ඉස්සරහට ඇවිල්ලා. තව අවුරුදු තුනක් ගතවුනාට පස්සේ මේ දේවල් ගැන, මේ අය ගැන අපිට මොනවා නම් කියන්න පුළුවන් වෙයි ද?

2018 නොවැම්බර් 20

THE PATHETIC SPEAKER , A HEN ON HOT GRIDDLE

November 20th, 2018

RANJITH SOYSA

Sri Lanka’s Speaker in the Parliament is attempting to create anarchy in the country by design or through extreme incompetency. Restless and clueless in his approach in handling of the Parliament affairs he continues to make a mockery of the rules governing the Parliament sessions .

A the very start he boldly said that he was not accepting the constitutionally appointed new PM which is completely outside his duties. Then he met a delegation of Western envoys who were critical of the President’s appointment exposing internationally his biased perceptions.

With colours nailed to the mast, then he presided over the session of the Parliament and suspended standing rules as per the proposition of Sumanthiran without  a vote being taken flouting the standing order 135. Then like a bull in a china-shop he forgot about or ignored the standing order 47 in his hurry to curry favour with the UNP and its allies. The standing order47  spells out the procedure regarding the introduction of motions. He breached the requirement of giving 5 day notice of the no- confidence motion which led to chaos in the House.

Subsequently, he visited the President to report the adoption the no-confidence motion, but, the President rightly pointed out the procedurally erroneous way followed in taking up the no- confidence motion by the Parliament and educated him to work within the standing orders while rejecting the Speaker’ biased version. One gets the impression that the futile yet this foolish attempt was engineered perhaps by a crafty mind of the regime changing forces.

Yet again, on 16th Friday a repeat performance was staged by not following the standing order 47 and 135 which outlines to the methods of counting. The fact that the speaker attempted to get the no-confidence motion approved for the second time clearly admits  that he in fact made mistakes in his first effort. Why is the Speaker persisting in getting under the President’s skin while doing everything to create chaos in the Parliament ?

The Speaker’s mistakes ,if done purposely should be examined carefully to grasp the bigger challenges facing the Nation and the country as same can be initial manipulations to plunge the country to extreme instability to compel the people to consider another form of government perhaps with the blessings of the foreign power.

RANJITH SOYSA

Samalan Weva archeological sites and Taliban-like activity by Eelamists.

November 20th, 2018

Chandre Dharmawardana, Canada.

Samalankulam or Smalang weva has been a place name that we had included in our list of

place-names in the North and East (scroll to Samalankulam at the website:

https://dh-web.org/place.names/index.html ).  This was made available to the public since approximately 2002 to 2006. Samalankulam had been listed in the 1982 Annual Report of the Archeological Department where it had identified remnants of Buddhist Stupas  dating back to the Anuradhapura period or earlier.

These archeological sites suffered immensely during the Eelam wars. They are under the threat of the Bulldozer ever since the  Northern Provincial Council under Mr. Wigneswaran came to power. The NPC ignored the problems of the people, and instead mounted a program of  reconstructing history and destroying any historical evidence that  they believed would run counter to their version of history. Let the archeologists and historians sort out the history. While that is being done, it is our duty to safeguard what evidence that exists on the ground today, as a legacy belonging to all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their ethnic territorial claims.

If we cannot physically act to safeguard the evidence, we can at least record it for posterity. As such I have updated our record for Samalanvewa (Samalankulam). It is given below, and I invite any readers to send  any additional information that we can include, to make the record more complete, to the email address  chandre.dharma(@)yahoo.ca

—————————————————————————————————————–

Samalankulam (Vavnimava [Vavniya] district)

SAMALANG VAEVA

This town is located between  Vannimava (Vavniya) and west of Madukanda, at nearly equal distances and hence said to have earned its name සමලං. Madukanda itself is an important historical site with links to the arrival of the Sri Dalada, while Samalang weva Vihara is said to be mentioned in the Wanni Rajavaliaya (however, according to Prof. Surawera, it is regarded as a weak historical source). Samalang weva is south of both Madukanda and Vannimava, and forms the bottom tip of an equilateral triangle, where the lake is bordered on the western side by “Uma Maheswaran Rd”.

Another etymological origin for the place name that has been proposed is that the word “Samanala” has undergone an accepted type of syllabic inversion “Samanala → “samalan(a)”. Compare also, Gam-nuwara → (Gannurawa) → Gannoruwa and in Poron-nuwara → Polonnnaruwa.

(For more about such names, and Pollonaruwa in particular, see the Island Newspaper article:

https://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=37855 )

Links to a Map  to the area of Samalang Weva  are given in the website.

Ancient Buddhist ruins, Listed in 1982 in the  Archeology Dept. annual report  (and Labeled #101 in Vanni Buddhist sites map https://dh-web.org/place.names/index.html#vanni1budu-map) are found here.

The above map is interactive and sites can be clicked to get a brief write-up on the place.

There were archeological remains of stupas from the Anuradhapura period prior to the Eelam wars, as seen in  The mound of an un-excavated Stupa at Samalankulama (Samanala veva, or samalan weva) where a link is given to an image.  Recent constructions (since 1985) of several new Pillayar Hindu Kovils as well as established Hindu Temples are found in the area. They are

(I) Samalankulam Sri Muttumarai Amman Temple (ii) Kallumalai pillaiyar kovil,

(iii) Murugan Kovil (iii) Ellampper-Murthankulam Hindu temple (iv)Asikulam

Pillayar Kovil   (v) Alladi Pillayar Kovil etc., and many more temples as one moves in the direction of

Vannimava (Vavniya) itself.

Samalankulam Sri Muttumaarai Amman Temple

The ancient Buddhist ruins (from Anuradhapura times or earlier) are neglected and are not mentioned in any guide books, as we found in our search in 2002. They were not shown in Microsoft-Encarta (now defunct) maps, nor on current Google maps. Even after the end of the Eelam wars (May 2009), no protection is afforded to the Samalang weva archeological artifacts. In fact, since the advent of the Northern Provincial Council under Chief Minister Wigneswaran, it is saddening to note that there seems to be invigorated activity designed to remove these ruins completely. This type of activity is not different to the actions of the Taliban zealots who destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha statue. Here, the removal of Buddhist artifacts is associated with a mistaken belief that it will strengthen their claims to an “exclusive Tamil Homeland”.

Note added on 19-11-2018

According to a very recent news report (e.g., Divaina, 18-11-2018), ignored by the English Language media, a group of TNA politicians had come to the Hindu Temple and provided funding, when bulldozing of the archeological site had commenced. Furthermore, archeological dept. officials who had come to inspect the site had been threatened and driven away.

 

A photo of the bulldozed site from at least the 5th CE, published in the Divaina Newspaper, 18-11-2018 is given here, and can be contrasted with the many flourishing Hindu temples in the area which are only a few decades old. The age of the bulldozed ruins can be gauged by a study of the bricks, and other remaining artifacts.

Chandre Dharmawardana, Canada.

Can we allow “democracy” to destroy a nation that even terrorism couldn’t?

November 20th, 2018

Keerthi Godayaya

Once again, a myriad of explanations has been emanating from all directions regarding the constitutional quagmire that has engulfed Sri Lankan politics at present. Many of these explanations are based on western democratic norms and traditions as to how important that can be to safeguard the Westminster parliamentary etiquettes.

Many are worried about the way our parliamentarians behaved in the chamber the other day, as if the parliament is a separate entity that supposed to exist alienated from the socio-political realities of the country. Their argument goes to the extent as if our parliamentarians’ supreme duty is to protect Westminster system and its etiquettes rather than the country. The most comical of this all is the fact that no other than the JVP has become the ultimate guardians of this colonial mechanism, the Westminster parliamentary system. Isn’t that funny?

People know that the JVP’s crocodile tears are nothing but a fig-leaf to cover-up Anura Kumara’s and Vijitha Herath’s personal grudge and vendetta against Wimal Weerawansa, and that is the true reason behind this outcry. They just can’ allow the policies that Wimal Weerawansa stands for to win. If Wimal Weerawansa stands for the people, then the JVP thinks people must lose. They cry wolf about the violation of democratic values of a parliamentary system today hiding their true intentions, but without knowing that they cannot trick the people. Due to their vicious personal grudge, they would destroy the entire nation at any cost rather than backing off realizing the heavy cost of their actions. It is the pathetic condition of a party that once had some credibility.

People want to know the position of the JVP about the newly proposed constitution by the former UNP regime that intended to bring provisions that could permanently end the unitary nature of the nation and create dangerous legal conditions encouraging the division of it? Do they agree with UNP with such constitutional coup d’ etat? If they do not agree with these constitutional changes, and ended up without having options to stop Ranil, what would they do? Wouldn’t they choose a revolutionary path? Oh sorry, I forgot, they are the red elephants, the current bedfellows of the “Thuppahi” affluent class of Colombo, and now they are accustomed to enjoy all parliamentary privileges and pensions that once they fought against some time back. They are the new haters of the “sadukin pelenawun.” and singing a different tune these days such as….

සාදුකින් පෙළෙනවුන් – දැන් ඉතින් හැමනියව්… 

මිහිතලේ කසලයින් සුන්වෙයව්!!!”

The enunciation of the criticism of current state of affairs is that whatever the situation, the western parliamentary etiquettes need to be upheld. We mustn’t do anything that can trigger white master’s laughter.

Hello…white master will laugh anyway. When he sees that our speaker is still wearing the blond wig that had been trashed centuries ago by the owners of it. Even though this part has been a part of the costumes of many former colonies, this has never been a part of the costume of the speaker of the USA, another former colony of Britain. Aren’t we becoming laughing stocks right there before the white gaze.

The critics are terrified, not that because white master has set-up all the traps against us through the Westminster parliamentary system, but by his mere laughter. So, these people are prescribing us to live according to a set of rules, although these ‘certain rules’ never can satisfy the yearnings of the nation, but only satisfies the whims and fancies of the former colonial masters. There has never been any other occasion other than current crisis that clearly demonstrated that the parliamentary system is nothing but a trap for Sri Lankan people.

For instance, how if the Judiciary branch of our constitution rules that the early dissolution of parliament by the president is unconstitutional? Ranil grabbed power three and a half years ago deposing Mahinda with a clear political agenda which he knew was anti Sri Lankan, ani-people and anti-unitary status of our country. He knew the new constitution that was in the pipeline will pave the definitive path for the division of the country that can never be able to undo again. Also, he knew if the executive branch had been entrusted powers to dissolve the parliament in a such critical political climate, which he expected to create due to his plotting against the nation, he will never be able to fulfil his task that was assigned for him by his colonial masters to the finish.

He knew the constitutional coup d’ etat he planned was going against the mandate he was given, therefore wished to function above the law. So, he devised a constitutional security mechanism to remain in power until he can fulfil the task of permanently dividing the country, which is what we recognize now as 19th amendment to the constitution. But since the supreme power of the 1978 constitution had entrusted upon people of Sri Lanka, at this juncture, there should have been a mechanism to stop such treacherous act of Ranil. But there was none according to the explanation of Ranil about the post 19th amendment of the constitution.

If Ranil’s explanation about the post 19th amendment constitution is valid, then what he is telling us is that he had created a constitutional safe haven for him through 19th amendment to function unobstructed to bring whatever the harm he wanted to bring to the country without being challenged by any checks and the balances in the system. Adding even more mockery to the already rigged system, the speaker also functioned as a part of this UNP regime’s rigging of the parliamentary system. Then where the people were left in this situation Ranil created? The people of Sri Lanka have been left without having any options. Isn’t this a condition worthy of a revolution? Yes, Revolution is the only answer. Let us line-up this again.

If Ranil is correct in his explanation about the constitution, then he has conspired and strategized with his Indian and western masters to divide the country through a constitutional coup d’état.

According to Ranil, in post 19th amendment constitution, there is no way to stop him via legal means.

In such political stalemate, what’s left for the people?

The answer is written on the wall, Only a bloody revolution!” 

People cannot allow Ranil to live above the law or against the will of the people of Sri Lanka. Of course, revolutions are bloody. Many will die in such events. But the history of mankind has gone through such bloody events to up hold the will of the people.

At this situation there is no relevance whatsoever of judging our parliamentarians’ behavior that has nothing to do with resolving the problem of our country. The unruly behavior was only the symptom of a larger problem. Then the question is what was the cause for this unruly behavior? Ranil’s treacherous constitutional coup d’ etat was the cause, wasn’t it? Can good behavior that satisfies the white master resolve this problem of division of the nation through a constitutional coup d’etat? No! Of course not; the gentlemanly behavior can satisfy Sudda,” but not the nation. Is it worthy to exchange the national security and the unitary state with white master’s whims and fancies or his satisfaction and approval?

By the way, gentleness of the gentlemen politics in colonial master’s country comes from the ability to exert power through influence. In other words, the gentleman in England can commit any crime in England or in their former colonies without using his own fingers but can get things done by others. So, you do not have to be emotional there; Instead, you can get anything done cold bloodedly. You can name many such gentlemanly criminals, Winston Churchill was one. But the prescribed gentleness of the politician in the colony (such as in Sri Lanka) comes with the castration of independence, obedience abiding to white rules. So, what do you value the most? Having balls to do whatever necessary to safeguard the nation or the slavish obedience seeking approval of the white master?

But whatever the answer could be, I must make one thing very clear! I have never sent my representative to the parliament to safeguard the white master’s Westminster etiquettes but only to safeguard my country at any cost. What I really want from my repetitive in the parliament is to save my nation from the unfolding constitutional coup d-etat of Ranil and the clan. And not only that, if the verdict of the supreme court goes unfavorable to the peoples will in early December, and going against the people’s determination for a snap election – to decide the fate of the nation, then definitely I want my representatives to take the ultimate political action…. the

REVOLUTION!!!!!

I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE OUR JVP COMRADES FIGHTING ALONGSIDE THE COUNTER REVOLUTIONARY FORCES OF RANIL AND THE THUPPAHI” CLAN IN SUCH EVENT OF PEOPLE’S REVOLUTION.

KEERTHI GODAYAYA

Mindfulness Meditation

November 20th, 2018

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge 

The term mindfulness” has been used to refer to a psychological state of awareness, a practice that promotes this awareness, a mode of processing information, and a characterological trait (Brown et al., 2007; Davis & Hayes, 2011).  According to Bodhi (2000) the word mindfulness originally comes from the Pali word sati, which means having awareness, attention, and remembering   (Davis &Hayes, 2011).  Mindfulness is a psychological construct and as a form of clinical intervention. Mindfulness meditation is an open monitoring style of practice that involves ongoing, non-reactive awareness or monitoring of the present moment, of one’s phenomenological experience phrase (Burke et al., 2017).

As elucidated by Kabat-Zinn (1982) mindfulness meditation was introduced to the West in a secular and standardized clinical format about 30 years ago. The mindfulness approach is rooted in Theravada Buddhism and it was westernized by Kabat-Zinn (Moafian et al., 2017).While introducing mindfulness Kabat-Zinn modified Vipassana practice with a Zen attitude (Amihai & Kozhevnikov, 2015).

Mindfulness’ is the working principle behind the effect of all meditations (Panta, 2017). According to Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl mindfulness is paying attention to the experience as it presents itself without any interpretational filtering. Jon Kabat-Zinn describes mindfulness as paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally (Kabat-Zinn, 1995). Mindfulness is the dispassionate, moment-by-moment awareness of sensations, emotions and thoughts (Marchand, 2014). Bishop (2004) specifies that mindfulness is an umbrella term that can be understood to refer to the self-regulation of attention to one’s experiences in the present moment with curiosity, openness and acceptance.  The aim of mindfulness is to cultivate consistent and non-reactive present moment awareness or directed attention (Appel & Appel, 2009).

In a typical practice instruction, Kabat-Zinn suggests that participants sit comfortably with eyes closed and direct their attention to the physical sensations of breathing by simply noticing it, paying attention to it, and being aware of it. When thoughts, emotions, physical feelings, or external sounds occur, practitioners are instructed to accept them and allow the recognition of these stimuli to come and go without judging or getting involved. When attention has drifted off and is becoming caught up in thoughts or feelings it is advised that the practitioner notes this drift and gently brings attention back to breathing (Grecucci et al., 2015).

Mindfulness is an intrinsic and modifiable capacity of the human mind (Black & Slavich, 2016).  Being mindfulness means paying attention to current experience instead of focusing on the past or the future. It’s living here and now, being intentionally present.  It is accepting the moment without judging it. Mindfulness meditation encourages individuals to focus on their internal experiences such as bodily sensations, thoughts, and emotions (Melloni et al., 2013). It is the   non-judgmental observation of the ongoing stream of internal experiences as they arise (Hölzel et al., 2008). It is being alert and awake about the every present moment (Patil, 2009). Mindfulness understanding is a decreased attachment to the self, higher self-compassion and lower emotional reactivity to inner experience.

Mindfulness is a capacity for heightened present-moment awareness. Mindfulness meditation is an inward mental practice in which a resting but alert state of mind is maintained (Ahani et al., 2013). Mindfulness corresponds to the higher-level awareness of present-moment sensory, affective, and cognitive experiences (Desbordes et al., 2015). Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D – Professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University and internationally recognized expert in mindfulness (Personal Communication , 2018) states that mindfulness is intentionally paying attention with kindness. She further states  transformation is possible through kind attention.

Mindfulness meditation is an effective cognitive technique for the development of self-awareness (Kutz et al., 1985) and has the capacity to adopt an observing self (Birnbaum, 2005).  According to Shyam (1994) mindfulness meditation promotes self awareness. Training in mindfulness, the deliberate awareness of moment-to-moment experience with an attitude of acceptance and non-judgement, is thought to foster health benefits and adaptive coping skills with potential lifelong relevance (de Vibe et al., 2018).

The goal of mindfulness is to maintain awareness moment by moment, disengaging oneself from strong attachment to beliefs, thoughts, or emotions, thereby developing a greater sense of emotional balance and well-being (Ludwig & Kabat-Zinn, 2008). Mindfulness meditation typically focuses on several domains, including bodily sensations, states of mind, and interactions between one’s behavior and the universe (Harvey, 1990).

Mindfulness meditation is regarded as a mind-body therapy or integrative body–mind training. It has beneficial effects on brain and body (Krygier et al., 2013). This is an attention-based, regulatory and self-inquiry training regime (Lutz et al., 2008). Over the past 35 years, mindfulness meditation practices have increasingly been integrated into Western medical settings (Wilson et al., 2017). Kabat-Zinn and colleagues found that mindfulness based meditation program had sustained positive effects in reduction in pain, psychological and overall health measures (Patil, 2009).  Mindfulness meditation is a form of mental training that involves observation of the constantly changing patterns of internal and external experience moment to moment (Fulwiler et al., 2015).

Attachments and cravings lead to human suffering. According to Wijsbek (2012) suffering is not purely subjective in the sense of being entirely private. Suffering is not a symptom like pain or fear and suffering occurs when a person interprets his /her experience as a threat to his/ her integrity (Gupta et al., 2017). Mindfulness transforms suffering through changes in what the mind is processing, changes in how the mind is processing it, and changes in the view of what is being processed (Teasdale & Chaskalson, 2011).

Mindfulness is a shift in perspective associated with decreased attachment to one’s thoughts and emotions (Brown et al., 2015). Mindfulness meditation is a foundational practice for reducing psychological suffering (Kang & Whittingham, 2010). When mindful, people are sensitive to the context and the environment, they welcome novelties, they create new categories for structuring perception, and they present multiple perspectives in problem solving (Langer and Moldoveanu, 2000; Moafian et al., 2017).

The scientific interest on mindfulness meditation has significantly increased in the last two decades probably because of the positive health effects (Crescentini & Capurso, 2015). Mindfulness may promote a more participatory medicine by engaging and strengthening an individual’s internal resources for optimizing health in both prevention of and recovery from illness (Ludwig & Kabat-Zinn, 2008).  Gestalt therapy and Morita’s therapy use the techniques based on the concept of mindfulness (Marciniak et al., 2014).

Intricate neural mechanisms are associated with mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness augments brain activation and modifies neural processes. The neural processes in medial cortex, lateral frontal regions, basal ganglia and hippocampus have been observed during mindfulness meditation (Marchand, 2014).  Levine and team (2017) report that a 2‐month mindfulness meditation program resulted in increased left‐sided anterior brain electrical activation, a pattern associated with positive affect and emotion.

The beneficial clinical effects of mindfulness practices are receiving increasing support from empirical studies (Chiesa et al., 2013). Mindfulness-based approaches are increasingly employed as interventions for treating a variety of psychological, psychiatric and physical problems (Chiesa & Malinowski, 2011). Long-term practice of mindfulness leads to emotional stability by promoting acceptance of emotional states and enhanced present-moment awareness (Taylor et al., 2011). Mindfulness enhanced emotional regulation (Marchand, 2014).

Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, promote health, and well-being, as well as to increase compassionate behavior toward others (Laneri et al., 2017).  According to Naranjo and  Schmidt  (2012) mindfulness meditation practice is associated with slower body movements which in turn may lead to an increase in monitoring of body states and optimized re-adjustment of movement trajectory, and consequently to better motor performance.

The benefits of mindfulness are now beginning to be understood at a neurobiological level (Sarris et al., 2012). Ivanovski and Malhi (2007) state that mindfulness-based therapeutic interventions appear to be effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety, psychosis, borderline personality disorder and suicidal / self-harm behaviour. Mindfulness meditation might be of therapeutic use by inducing plasticity related network changes altering the neuronal basis of affective disorders such as depression (Yang et al., 2016). Mindfulness is associated with high levels of self-esteem and satisfaction with life (Brown & Ryan, 2003). Collins and team (2018) mindfulness protects against suicidal desire in conditions of heightened risk and adversity by enhancing one’s orientation towards a life worth living.

ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ කොයි බටද?

November 20th, 2018

චන්ද්‍රසේන පණ්ඩිතගේ විසිනි 

අපි ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණේ මුල් යුගයේ සාමාජිකයින් වෙමු. මේ පොළොවේ නොතිබුන දෙයක් ගොඩනැංවීමට දායකවූ ඒ පරපුරේ සියලුම සහෝදර සයෝදරියන් ඉතා ගෞරවයෙන් සිහිපත් කරමින් මේ ලිපිය ලිවිම ආරම්භ කරනුයේ, මගේ ජිවිත කාලයටම එවන්වූ උත්තරීතර ගුනගරුකවූ මිනිසුන් මට හමුනොවි ඇති බව සිහිපත් කරමිනි. ගැටවර අවධියේ පසුවූ අපි සියලු දෙනාම එකට එකතුවී කල මහා මෙහෙවර සම්බන්ධව මේ රටේ කිසිම අයෙකු කිසිදු ආකාරයෙන් කිසිදු සමීක්ෂණයක් කර එහි යතාර්ථය මේ වන තෙක් හෙළි දරව් කරගෙන නැත. ජිවිතයේ එක වරක් පණක් උරුම වෙන සුන්දරම අවධිය වූ ඒ භද්‍ර යෞවනය මරණය උරුම කරගත් ඉලක්කයක් වෙත පුද කරන්නට අධිෂ්ඨාන කරගත් ඒ තරුණ පරපුර තරම් වටිනා මිනිස් පරපුරක් මේ රටේ ඊට පසුව අද වෙනතුරු බිහිව නැති බව නම් ඉතා පැහැදිලිය.

ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ යනු අහිංසක සුන්දර මිනිසුන්ගේ නිර්මාණයක් වූ අතර, එය ගොඩනැංවීමට කල කැපකිරීම් හමුවේ ගොඩ නැගුනේ අවංක අව්‍යාජ ජනතා හිතවාදී මහා බලවේගයකි. අපට මේ මිනිසුන් මුණගැසුනේ අපද මෙවැනි මිනිසුන් සොයමින් සිටින යුගයකදීය. අප මෙවැනි මිනිසුන් සොයමින් සිටියේ අප සිටි සමාජ ක්‍රමය, අප අපේක්ෂා කරන දේ අප කිසිවෙකුටත් ලබා නොදෙන බව ප්‍රත්‍යක්ෂ වූ බැවිනි. සෑම දේශපාලන ධහරාවක් තුලම විවිධවූ අසාධාරණ කම් වලට එකම පිළියම වශයෙන් තමන්ගේම වූ තම අභිලාෂයන් වෙනුවෙන් කැපව කටයුතුකරන දේශපාලන බලවේගයක් අප සියල්ලන්ට අවැසිව තිබුණි. සතයක් අතේ නැති මිනිසුන් මහා දේශපාලන දහරාවක් ගොඩනැංවීමට ආරම්භ කර තිබුණි. මේ දහරාව ගොඩනැංවීමේ ශක්තිය වුයේ ස්වශක්තියයි. ආරම්භයේදී අපිට නායකයෙකු මුණ නොගසිනි. සහෝදරයා නායකයෙක් දෙස බලන්න එපා. බලන්න මේ දේශපාලනය තුල ඇති දර්ශනය. ඔබ මේ දර්ශනය හා එකග නම් අපිත් එක්ක එකතුවන්න. ගැටවර වියේ වූ අප ඒ දර්ශනය අවබෝධ කරගත් අතර යම් දිනයකදී අපි “මව්බිම හෝ මරණය ” අනිවාර්යෙන්ම ජය ගන්නා බව ඉලක්ක කරගෙන අමුතුම ආකාරයේ දේශපාලන ක්‍රියාවලියක් කටයුතු ආරම්භ කළෙමු. අප සියල්ලක්ම අපේ සියලුම පෞද්ගලිකත්වයන් අමතක කළෙමු. භද්‍ර යවුවනයේ උපදින ආදර සිතුවිලි යටපත් කරමින් ගොඩනංවන්නට බලාපොරොත්තුව සිටින ඒ මහා සමාජය ගොඩනැංවීම හැර වෙන අන්කිසිදු දෙයක් අපට උරුම නැති සිතමින් දිවිපරදුවට තබා මහා ව්‍යාපාරයක් ගොඩනැන්වුයෙමු.

ගොඩනැංවීමේ ක්‍රියාවලියේ තිබු ඒ ඇති සුන්දරත්වය ගොඩනැංවූ පසු අප ජිවිත වලට උරුම වුයේ නැත. ගොඩනැංවූ ඒ මහා ව්‍යාපාරය රැකගැනීම මහා අසීරු කර්තව්‍යක් විය. අභ්‍යන්තර හා බාහිර සතුරු උවදුරු මුළුමහත් ව්‍යාපාරයම සසල කරවමින් අනපේක්ෂිත අවස්ථාවකදී අනවශ්‍ය පහරදීමකට ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමින මෙහෙයවා ඒ වනවිට ගොඩනංවා තිබු ඒ මහා බල කදවුර දෙදරා හරින ලදී. “මව්බිම නැත්නම් මරණය” අපේක්ෂා කල ඒ අභීත සහෝදර සහෝදරියන් කිසිවෙකුට මව්බිමේ උරුමය හිමි නොවූ අතර,කොටසකට මරණය උරුම විය. තවත් කොටසකට මව්බිමත් මරණයත් දෙකම අහිමි විය. මවුබිමත් මරණයත් උරුම නොවූ පරපුරට මවුබිම දිනා ගැනීමේ සටන අත් හරිය නොහැකි කාර්යක් බවට පත්කර ඇත්තේ එදා මියගිය සහෝදර සහෝදරියන්ගේ ඒ රුධිර දහරාවන් විය. ඒ රුධිරය නිකම්ම නිකම් අමතක කර දැමිය හැකි රුධිරයක් නොව, අපත් සමග එකතුව මේ මහා ව්‍යාපාරය ගොඩනැන්වීමට දායක වූ ඒ මහා සුන්දර මිනිස් පරපුරේ රුධිරයයි. නායකත්ව සිරගතව සිටියදී නොදන්නා බලවේගයක් විසින් නිකුත් කල විදානයකට අනුව කල සටන මහා විනාශයකින් කෙළවරවූ බව ඉතිහාස ගතව ඇත.

අළු මතින් යලි නැගිට ගත ෆීනික්ස් පක්ෂියා සේ නැගී සිටි ඒ මහා බලවේගය යලි මර මරා ටයර් මත දමා පුළුස්සා දමන ලද්දේ 1988/89 යුගයේදීය. විනාශ වුවද යලි යලිත් නැගිටින්නේ, දර්ශනය පවතින විටදීය. එබැවින් 1989 පසුව සතුරන්ට මේ ව්‍යාපාරයේ දර්ශනය මරා දැමීමට අවැසි විය. එදා බලවත්වූ ශිෂ්‍ය ව්‍යාපාරය විශ්ව විද්‍යාල වලට ඇතුළුවන නවක සිසුන්ට මහා රැකවරණයක් දුන් මධ්‍යස්ථානයක් වූ අතර, එම ව්‍යාපාරය නවක සිසුන්ට නවකවදය දෙන වදකාගාරයක් තත්වයට පත් කර දේශපාලන දර්ශනය අමු අමුවේ මරණ තත්වයට පක්ෂයේ අභ්‍යන්තර සතුරන් ප්‍රභලව ආරම්භකර, පක්ෂය තම ඉලක්කයන් නොදන්නා නරුමකරණයකට බාජනය කර ඇත.  මේ වන විට මුළු පක්ෂයම, පක්ෂයේ නිර්මාතෘවරුන්ගේ ඝාතකයන්ට රැකවරණය සපයන සිකුරිටි සමාගමක් බවට පත් කර ඇත. අද අප සහෝදරවරුන් දිවිදී ගොඩනැගු ඒ ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ නැති අතර, එදා ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ ගොඩනැංවීමට හේතුවූ දර්ශනය මුලික වූ මාතෘ භුමිය සුරැකීමේ වගකීමේ කාර්යය අප සතුව ඇත. ඒ සදහා, වර්තමානයේ මාතෘභූමියේ ප්‍රධාන සතුරෙක්වූ නුතන ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණේ සෑම ගඩොලක්ම ගලවා ඉවත් කිරීමේ කාර්ය අප සතුව ඇත, අප එක්ව ඒ කර්ත්ව්‍යටද දායකත්වය සපයමු.

“අධිරාජ්‍යවාදයට විනාශය- ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණටද විනාශය “

Speaker way off mark on parliament costs

November 20th, 2018

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

The People’s Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi told The Island that a single parliamentary session cost Sri Lankan taxpayer a whopping Rs 25,721,413 mn and not Rs 4.6 mn to Rs 5mn as previously estimated.

The civil society activist said that the PAFFREL had recently obtained parliamentary expenses in terms of the Right to Information Law.

According to K.A. Rohanadeera, Assistant Secretary General of Parliament made available to The Island by PAFFREL, 95 sittings in 2017 had cost Rs 2,443,534,315.

When The Island pointed out that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had estimated the cost of a single sitting at about Rs. 5 million, Hettiarachchi said obviously the accounts taken into consideration now and then were different.

Hettiarachchi said that massive expenditure the country incurred in maintaining parliament should be examined in the context of extremely poor performance of lawmakers.

Hettiarachchi said that in response to his RTI query, the parliament had acknowledged that the House didn’t maintain a record of lawmakers’ absences even on days sittings were suspended for want of a quorum, which is 20 MPs.

Govt working on vote on account

November 20th, 2018

by Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte Courtesy The Island

The government was working on a vote on account to be presented at the next Cabinet meeting, Minister of International Trade and Investment Promotion, Bandula Gunawardena yesterday told the media at the Prime Minister’s Office.

If the Supreme Court decided that the dissolution of Parliament was legal, the President would be able to spend money from the Consolidated Fund. “Even if a vote on account is not presented in November, the President can still use funds from the Consolidated Fund,” he said.

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Asked how the government would be able to secure the passage of its vote on account as it lacked a majority in Parliament, the Minister said that it was the UNP which kept on saying so.

“MP Ajith Perera said his party would show that 113 MPs supported the UNP when parliament was convened on November 19, but nothing of the sort happened.”

Gunawardena added that the government would take action against UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for forcibly occupying Temple Trees, the official residence of the Prime Minister.

UNP to contest under Common Candidacy at Presidential polls?

November 20th, 2018

Courtesy Adaderana

National Organizer of the United National Party (UNP) Navin Dissanayake says that UNP will contest through a common candidate at the next Presidential Election.

A group of UNP parliamentarians called on the Mahanayake of the Malwathu Chapter, Most Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thero today (20).

They informed the Thero on the current political situation if the country.

They have also handed over a copy of the no-confidence motion which is purported to have been approved at the parliament along with a copy of the document signed by the MPs.

Three suspects of Justice Illanchelian shooting case bailed

November 20th, 2018

Three suspects, who were remanded in connection with the shooting incident in Nallur targeting Jaffna District Court Judge M. Illanchelian, have been granted bail.

They were granted bail by Jaffna High Court Judge Annalingam Premachandran yesterday (19) under strict bail conditions.

Police Sergeant Sarath Hemachandra who was a personal protection officer to Jaffna High Court judge M. Illanchelian, died in July 2017 after being shot by an unidentified man during a failed assassination bid on the judge.

The incident occurred on 22nd July 2017 near the Nallur Kovil in Jaffna while the shooter had targeted the vehicle the judge was traveling in. The injured police officer was on the motorcycle traveling behind the vehicle of the judge. He was admitted to the Jaffna Hospital where he underwent surgery.

Justice Ilanchelian had presided in high profile rape and murder case of Sivaloganathan Vithya, a young student in Jaffna. The 18-year-old student from Pungudutivu was abducted, raped and murdered while returning from school on May 13, 2015. The incident had caused much public outrage.

When the case was taken up yesterday, the lawyers representing the defendants requested the court to release the defendants on some bail as they had been in remand for a long period of time.

Considering the request, the High Court judge ordered the 3 suspects to be bailed on a monetary bail of Rs 300,000 and personal bails worth Rs 500,000 per defendant, stated the Jaffna Police.

Didn’t instruct IGP to cancel IP Nishantha’s transfer:The National Police Commission

November 20th, 2018

Darshana Sanjeewa Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The National Police Commission (NPC) said yesterday it had not directed the IGP to cancel the transfer of the CID’s Organised Crimes Investigation Unit OIC, IP Nishantha Silva.

Several reports claimed that the NPC had directed the IGP to cancel the transfer of IP Nishantha Silva.

NPC Secretary Saman Dissanayaka said the NPC had not recommended IP Nishantha’s transfer as the CID did not belong to the commission’s functional division.

The Secretary said both the transfer and its withdrawal had been made by the IGP.

Karu to contest 2020 President Poll – GL

November 20th, 2018

RANMINI GUNASEKARA Courtesy Ceylon Today

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s actions against the President reveal his personal agenda to run for the Presidential Election in 2020, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Professor G. L. Peiris said today (19).

He said this at a Media briefing held at the Party headquarters in Colombo.

The Speaker is putting on a heroic display, not only for the Sri Lankans but for foreign diplomats as well. It’s evident that he’s trying to create for himself an image to satisfy his personal agenda to become the President,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, Parliamentarian Rohitha Abeygunawardena added that the No-Confidence Motion (NMC) brought against appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa does not state any reasons for the loss of confidence in the Premier.

If they are saying they don’t have any confidence in the Prime Minister, then they should give reasons as to why they have lost confidence in him. However, the current NMC does not have any such allegations listed,” he added.

Furthermore, when questioned on the most recent brawl in the Parliament, Abeygunawardena justified the actions of the MPs’ saying they were acting on self defence in the face of the Speaker bringing Parliamentary Police personnel inside the Chamber. He further claimed that chilli powder was a harmless substance and alleged that there was a possibility that the Speaker himself brought the said powder.

කථානායක 2020 ජනපති සිහිනයෙන් අන්ධ වෙලා

November 20th, 2018

නුවන් හෙට්ටිආරච්චි උපුටාගැණීම  මව්බිම

කථානායක කරු ජයසූරිය පොදු අපේක්‍ෂක සිහිනයෙන් අන්ධ වී ඇති බව සත්‍ය ගවේෂකයෝ සංවිධානයේ කැඳවුම්කරු ප්‍රේම්නාත් සී. ‍ෙදාලවත්ත පවසයි.
ඒ මහතා මේ බව සඳහන් කළේ කොළඹ මහජන පුස්තකාලයේදී ඊයේ (19දා) පැවැති මාධ්‍ය හමුවකදීය.
එහිදී ඒ මහතා මෙසේද පැවැසීය.

රටේ ඇතිවෙලා තියෙන ගැටලුකාරී තත්ත්වයට කථානායක වගකිව යුතුයි. මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ නව අගමැති කළ ගැසට් එකට විරුද්ධව උසාවි නොගිය එජාපය පාර්ලිමේන්තුව විසුරුවා හැරිය ගැසට් පත්‍රයට විරුද්ධව උසාවි ගියා. පාර්ශ්වයක් වශයෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටිනවා ජනතාවට මහ මැතිවරණයක් ලබාදිය යුතුයි කියලා. මැතිවරණය කියන්නේ ජනතාවට අයිති දෙයක්. ජනතාව විසින් පත් කරලා එවපු නියෝජිතයෝ කොහොමද ජනතාවට අයිති මහ මැතිවරණයක් අහෝසි කරන්නේ.

එක්සත් ජාතික පක්‍ෂයේ මන්ත්‍රිවරු 45 දෙනකුගේ විශ්‍රාම වැටුප අහිමි වෙන එක තමයි මේකට හේතුව. ඉදිරියේදී අත්හිටුවූ ගැසට් පත්‍රය ක්‍රියාත්මක කළාම තේරුම් යයි එජාපය ඇතුළු විපක්‍ෂයට මහ මැතිවරණයක් රටට අවශ්‍ය බව ශේ්‍රෂ්ඨාධිකරණය පවා පිළිගත් බව. කථානායක අධිකරණය අභියෝගයට ලක් කරමින් පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ විවිධ වෙස් ගෙන වැඩ කරනවා. ඔහු ඇඳගෙන ඉන්නේ කොළ පාට. කථානායකවරයෙක්ට එහෙම ඉන්න බැහැ. මේ කථානායක හිතාගෙන ඉන්නේ 2020 ජනාධිපති එයා කියලා. රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහට ඉදිරිපත් වෙන්න හැකියාවක් නැති නිසා මහ ඡන්දයකදී කරු ජයසූරිය පොදු අපේක්‍ෂකයා කරනවා. ඒ නිසා දැන් කථානායකවරයා අන්ධ වෙලා ඉන්නේ. මේ හේතු නිසායි මැදිහත් පාර්ශ්වයක් විදියට අපි උසාවි ගිහින් විරෝධතා නඩුවක් ගොනුකළේ. උසාවි තීන්දුවට පටහැනිව වැඩ කරනවා.

ඒ කළ සියලුම දේවල් අහෝසි කරන්න කියලා උසාවියෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටිනවා. කථානායකවරයාගේ පක්‍ෂග්‍රාහී පිළිවෙත තමයි පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ කෝලහාලයකට මුල පිරුවේ. දැන් ඒ අයම කියනවා ඉතිහාසයේවත් එහෙම වෙලා නැහැ කියලා. නැත්තේ මොකද ජෝන් කොතලාවල පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේදී පුටුවක් උස්සලා තවත් මන්ත්‍රිවරයකුට පහරදීලා තියෙනවා. ඒ නිසා මේ සිදුවූ සිදුවිම සුළු දෙයක්. අද ඊනියා කණ්ඩායම්වලට අවශ්‍ය දේවල් තමයි රනිල්ලා කරන්නේ. ඒකයි මේ තරම් ජාත්‍යන්තර අතපෙවීම් සිදුවෙන්නේ. අපි එයට ඉඩ තියන්නේ නැහැ. මේ රටේ ව්‍යවස්ථාව ඩයස්පෝරාවලට ඕන විදියට සකස් කරන්න ඉඩ දෙන්නේ නැහැ.

අගමැතිකම දෙනවා කියා කථානායකව අන්දලා

November 20th, 2018

දෙනගම ධම්මික රණවීර උපුටාගැණීම  මව්බිම

අගමැති තනතුර හිමිවන බවට ඇතැම් පිරිසක් විසින් කථානායක කරු ජයසූරිය මහතාව ‘අන්දවා’ තිබූ නිසා ඔහු ස්ථාවර නියෝග නොතකා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ අත්තනෝමතිකව කටයුතු කළ බව සම කැබිනට් ප්‍රකාශක නිපුණතා සංවර්ධන හා වෘත්තීය පුහුණු ඇමැති නීතිඥ දයාසිරි ජයසේකර මහතා පැවැසීය.

ඔහු එසේ කීවේ ඊයේ (19දා) රජයේ ප්‍රවෘත්ති දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ පැවැති මාධ්‍ය හමුවකදීය.

ඔහු වැඩිදුරටත් මෙසේද පැවැසීය.

දවස් තුනක කුණාටුව අවසන් වී නිශ්චල තැනකට පාර්ලිමේන්තුව ඇවිත් තිබෙනවා. කථානායකතුමා ගෙනගිය අත්තනෝමතික ක්‍රියාපිළිවෙත නිසා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ අඳුරුතම දින 3ක් අපි පසු කළා. රට අස්ථාවර කිරීමේ ක්‍රියාමාර්ගය යම් තැනකට පැමිණ තිබෙනවා කියලා අපි විශ්වාස කරනවා.

අගමැතිවරයකු ඉවත් කරලා නව අගමැතිවරයකු ඇතුළු ආණ්ඩුවක් පත් වෙලා පාර්ලිමේන්තුව වාරාවසාන කරලා අලුතින් රැස්වන අවස්ථාවේ ස්ථාවර නියෝග 114 අනුව තේරීම්කාරක සභාවක් පත් කළ යුතුයි. එම තේරීම් කාරක සභාව විසින් කාරක සභා 12ක් පත් කරනවා. එම 12න් පළමුවැන්න පාර්ලිමේන්තු කටයුතු කාරක සභාවයි. එමෙන්ම ආචාරධර්ම පිළිබඳ වරප්‍රසාද කාරක සභාවකුත් පත් කළ යුතුයි.
මීට පෙර වත්මන් කථානායකතුමා ඒ සියල්ල හරියට කළා. ඒත් පසුගිය දින කිහිපයේදී පමණක් එසේ නොකොට අනුගමනය කළ අත්තනෝමතික ක්‍රියාදාමය නිසා පාර්ලිමේන්තු ඉතිහාසයේ අඳුරුතම දින තුනක් උදා වුණා.

විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනාවක් ගෙන ආ යුතු ක්‍රමවේදයක් ස්ථාවර නියෝගවල තිබියදී ඒ අනුව කටයුතු නොකර 22 වැනි වගන්තිය අනුව පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ කටයුතු කළා. එහෙත් ඒ අනුව කටයුතු කිරීමේදී පවා ජනාධිපතිගේ නිවේදන කියෙව්වේ නැහැ.

පසුගිය කාලයේ ඉදිරිපත් වුණු විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනා නිසි ක්‍රමවේදයකට අනුවයි ඉදිරිපත් වුණේ.

2016 මාර්තු 24දා රවි කරුණානායකට විරුද්ධව ගෙනා විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනාව මාස දෙකකට පසුව ජුනි 9දා තමයි විවාද කළේ. 2017 අගෝස්තු 24දා රාජිත සේනාරත්නට එරෙහිව ගෙනා විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනාවත් 2017 අගෝස්තු 3 රවි කරුණානායකට ඉදිරිපත් වූ දෙවැනි විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනාවත්, විවාදයට ගත්තේ නැහැ. නමුත් රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහට 2018 මාර්තු 21දා ගෙනා විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනාව අප්‍රේල් 4 වැනිදා එනම් සති 2න් විවාද කරලා ඡන්දය තැබුවා. ඒත් අගමැති මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතාට 2018 නොවැම්බර් 14දා ගෙනා විශ්වාසභංගය විනාඩි 10න් ඡන්දය විමසා අවසන් කළා. ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය පයිසයකටවත් ගණන් නොගෙනයි කරු ජයසූරිය මහතා කටයුතු කළේ.

ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය පිළිබඳ ගණන් නොගෙන ජයම්පති සහ සුමන්තිරන් 14දා දින ඉදිරිපත් කළ විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනාවට ජවිපෙත් සහාය පළ කළා. ස්ථාවර නියෝග අත්හිටුවන්න පවා ජවිපෙ කැමැති වුණා. අගමැති වෙන්න හිතාගෙන තමයි කරු ජයසූරිය මහත්තය එහෙම කළේ. රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ අගමැති නොකරන බව ජනාධිපතිතුමා කියූ නිසා කවුරු හරි විසින් කරු ජයසූරිය මහත්තයා අන්දලා තිබෙනවා. ඒකයි එහෙම සිදු වුණේ. එම නිසා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවත් රටත් අස්ථාවර වුණා. පොලිසිය පිරිවරාගෙන ඇවිල්ලා එෆ්.එම්. මයික් එකකින් තමයි පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ වැඩ කළේ. මේ විදියට හිතුවොත් කාටහරි සෙංකෝලය උස්සගෙන ඉන්න කියලා මහියංගණයේදී පාර්ලිමේන්තුව රැස් කරන්න පුළුවන්. එහෙම නැත්නම් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ ටොයිලට් එකෙත් රැස් කරන්න පුළුවන්. රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ, සුමන්තිරන් හා ජයම්පති ඇතුළු පිරිසේ කඩිකුලප්පුව නිසා තමයි මෙහෙම වුණේ.
කරු ජයසූරිය මහත්තයා අද (19දා) පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ආවේ නැහැ. ඔහුට තමාගේ වැඩපිළිවෙළ වැරැදියි කියලා හිතෙන්න ඇති.

කරු ජයසූරිය මහතා පසුගිය 16 වැනිදා එජාප කෘත්‍යාධිකාරි මණ්ඩල සභිකයකුටත්, තවත් හිටපු මන්ත්‍රිවරයකුටත් කතා කරලා තමන් අගමැති විධියට දිවුරුම් දෙන්න ලෑස්ති බව පවසා සහාය දෙන්න කියලා ඉල්ලා තිබෙනවා. අගමැති ධුරය ලබා ගැනීම සඳහා වහා පාර්ලිමේන්තු කුමන්ත්‍රණයකට කරු ජයසූරිය මහත්තයා අන්දලා තිබෙන බව හොඳටම පැහැදිලියි. එහෙම නැත්නම් ඔහු මේ විධියට හැසිරෙන කෙනෙක් නෙවෙයි. එතුමාගේ බෑණනුවන් ඇතුළු පිරිසක් එතුමා අන්දලා තියෙනවා.

ඉතිහාසයේ රජවරුන් බොහෝමයක් පත් වුණේ හිටපු රජු මරලා. ඒ වගේ තමයි රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහත්තයාට දෙන්නේ නැත්නම් කරු ජයසූරිය මහතා අගමැති වෙන්නයි බැලුවේ. එම නිසා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවත්, රටත් අස්ථාවර වුණා.

ජනාධිපතිතුමා පක්‍ෂ නායකයන් කියපු දේ අනුගමනය කළා නම් පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රිවරුන් සත පහකට ගණන් ගන්නේ නැති මී හරකුන් ගානට දමා ජනතාවත්, ලෝකයාත් කියන්න පටන් ගනීවි.
මන්ත්‍රිවරුන් පිහි ගෙනෙනවා. පහර දුන්නා වැනි කතා තියෙනවා. ඒවා විමර්ශනය කළ යුත්තේ වරප්‍රසාද කමිටුවයි. ඒත් එවැනි කමිටුවක් පත් කරලා නැහැ. එවැනි පසුබිමක කතානායකතුමා සර්ව පාක්‍ෂික සමුළුවක් කැඳවන බව කියනවා. ඒත් සර්ව පාක්‍ෂික සමුළුවකින් වරප්‍රසාද ගැන කතා කරන්න බැහැ.

කරු ජයසූරිය මහත්තයා ඊයේ (19දා) පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ආව නම් පොලිසිය එක්කයි එන්නෙ. එහෙම වුණා නම් ඇතිවන්නේ එදා ඇතිවුණු තත්ත්වයමයි. ඒත් ජනාධිපතිතුමා පෙන්වා දුන් මාර්ගයේ ගිය නිසා ඊයේ (19දා) ගැටුමක් නැතිව ඒක අවසන් වුණා. කරු ජයසූරිය මහත්තයා සිටියා නම් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ තවම මරා ගන්නවා.

නැවත ගෙන එන ලද විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනාව මඟිනුත් ජනාධිපතිතුමාගේ ක්‍රියාමාර්ගය අභියෝගයට ලක්කරනවා. එහෙම නැතිව අධිකරණයට යන්න පුළුවන්.

මන්ත්‍රිවරුන් 122ක් ඉන්නේ මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ ආණ්ඩුවට එරෙහිවයි. ඒත් රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහත්තයාට ඉන්නේ 98යි. මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂට 104ක් ඉන්නවා. ඒ නිසා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ වැඩිම විශ්වාසය මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ අගමැතිතුමාට තිබෙනවා.

අලුතින් ගෙනා විශ්වාසභංග යෝජනාවට ජවිපෙ අස්සන් කරලා නැහැ. ඔවුන් කලින් නම් උගුලකට හසුවී තිබෙනවා. ඔවුන්ගේ ඊළඟ ක්‍රියාමාර්ගය කුමක්ද දන්නේ නැහැ.

Re: Biyagulu Chandiya Champika Ranawaka – this is a big talker who says “api chandi”

November 20th, 2018

ටී. මුදලි

සිසිර වේරගොඩ නමින් එවූ පණිවිඩය  සබැඳේ.

(ඉංග්‍රීසියෙන් එවූ දෙයට සිංහලෙන් ලියන්නේ එය මටත් වැඩි දෙනෙකුටත් පහසු නිසයි)

කෙටියෙන් නම්, එතුමා කියනවා රණවක ඇමතිතුමා බියගුල්ලෙකුයි. ඉතින්, මොවුන් තමන්ට පිටුපෑවා ආදී දෙයයි. ඉන් පසු කියනවා අලුතින් සංවිධානයක් හැදීගෙන එනවා කියා.

බලය ඇත්තන් හෝ ඔවුන්ගේ නෑ-මිතුරන් හෝ ඔවුන්ගෙන් වාසි නොලැබී ගියවුන්ගෙන් හෝ මේ කිසිවෙකුගෙන්වත් රටට හෝ ජාතියට හොඳක් ගෙනෙයිද කියන්න අමාරුයි. ඔවුන් දන්නා දේශපාලනය තමන්ගේ හා තමන්ගේ නෑ මිතුරන්ගේ අභ්වෘද්ධිය පමණයි.

යමකට පිලියමක් කරන්න නම් එය සූක්‍ෂ්මව විග්‍රහ කළ යුතුවේ.

ගැටළුවේ මූලය ආණ්ඩු ක්‍රමයයි. මනාප ක්‍රමය කියා කිවුවාට මනාපය දිය හැක්කේ තමන්ට ඉදිරිපත්කරන නම් පේලියේ අයට පමණයි. ඒ මදිවට මනාප දෙන්න එක පක්‍ෂ ලැයිස්තුවක් තෝරාගත යුතුයි. මේ ඡ්න්ද ක්‍රමයෙන් මුලින්ම කරන හානිය පක්‍ෂයකට හෝ යම් කෙනෙකුට ඇල්මක් බැඳීමක් නැති අය ඡන්දය භාවිත කිරීමෙන් වැලකීමයි. එය ප්‍රජාවගේ බල හීන කිරීමකුයි.

Democracy නොහොත් ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයේ මූලික පදනම ඡන්ද්දායකයින්ට තමන්ගේ නියෝජිතයෙක් තෝරාගැනීමේ හැකියාවයි. අද පවතින ක්‍රමය Oligarchy නොහොත් කුඩා කණ්ඩායම් විසින් රජය කිරීමයි.

ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී ක්‍රමයක් අපට තිබුනා. ඒක හොඳින් පැවතුනා. ජේ. ආර්. විසින් මේ නව සමූහ ආධිපත්‍ය ක්‍රමය ඇති කළා. එහි කිසිවක් ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවදී නොවන්නේ පත්කරන මන්ත්‍රීවරු ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී විදිහට පත් නොවෙන නිසා ය. මේ එතරම් පරිදෘෂ්ට,කෙලින්ම පෙනෙන දෙය පණ්ඩිතයන් නොදකින්නේ ඇයිද කියා පැනයක් නගිනවා. මොවුනුත් අර ඉහත කී තුන් වර්‍ගයන්ට අයිති නිසා වත්ද?

ඡන්ද කොට්ඨාශ ක්‍රමය දින 100ක් ඇතුලත යෝජනා කරනවා කියා සිරිසේන ප්‍රතිපත්ති ප්‍රකාශනයේ 15 වෙනි පිටුවේ ප්‍රතිඥා දී ඇති වගවත් කිසිවෙකුත් නොදන්නවා සේ ය.
http://ahangama.com/sirisena/
ඒ නිසයි මට හැඟෙන්නේ මේ සද්ද කරන සියල්ලන්ම එක්කෝ බලැත්තෝ, නැත්නම් ඔවුන්ගේ නෑ-මිතුරන්, එහෙමත් නොවේ නම් ලාභ බලාපොරොත්තුවෙන් සිට නොලැබුන නිසා බලය ලබන්න බලාපොරොත්තුවෙන් ඉන්න අය විය යුතුය කියා. ඊට පුවත් විකාශන අංශයන්ද ඇතුලත් වේ.

The ONLY way out in Sri Lanka

November 19th, 2018

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Leaving aside the legalities, politicalities, Constitutionalities and the complexities of the current imbroglio in which the nation is grounded (temporarily), the underlying issues in the Constitutional crisis can be reduced to one single question: At a time when all three branches of the state are trapped in a deadlock without a pragmatic solution in sight should not the people – the ultimate sovereign authority acceptable to all competing parties for  power – be allowed to express their will in deciding who should be empowered to govern them? Right now the crisis is in the failure to decide who should govern the people. Rival parties are claiming legitimacy. However, all parties are agreed on holding elections. If so why not hold elections, leaving aside the legalities, politicalities, Constitutionalities and the complexities?

The crisis haunting the state is deteriorating at a rapid rate daily. The befuddled nation has hit rock bottom. The chaos that reigns supreme is confined to Parliament for the moment. Fortunately, the burning passions of politics have not spilled over to the streets so far. Rightly or wrongly, some attribute the prevailing disorder directly to the decision of the Supreme Court which has had a direct impact on rival parties competing for power. Though it is an interim order, without any finality about it, the immediate political consequences has been to exacerbate the polarisation of the opposing parties.

This certainly was not the intention of the Supreme Court. But the unintended consequences have led to further polarisation and destabilisation of the nation. Undoubtedly, this points to the fact that decision-makers at all levels must factor in the possible unintended consequences which can throw the nation into an uncontrollable spin. Without being judgmental, it cannot be denied that all hell broke loose after Supreme Court issued the interim order to reverse the President’s decision to (1) appoint a new prime minister (in his opinion”, as he did when he appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister when he had only 41 MPs in a House of 225) and (2) hold general elections on January 7, 2019.

In a politically charged atmosphere, some may even conclude that the Supreme Court had poured a bucket of fuel into the sparks that were waiting to blow up into an unmanageable conflagration. Prime time news globally is having a field day exposing the mayhem of the white-clad MPs going at each other on the floor of the House. There is no doubt now that if the prevailing agony is prolonged it will lead to undermine the foundations and the future of the oldest Asia-Pacific democracy which began in 1931 with the introduction of universal franchise.

Despite criticisms against the decision of the Supreme Court – and many more are due to be hurled depending on the final decision in early December  —  it is also absolutely clear that, as things stand now, the only authority that can produce a solution is the Supreme Court. Though nominally it has been asked to define the law that should guide the nation in this crisis, in reality it has been asked to play a decisive political role — perhaps the most critical in its history — that can either plunge the nation instantly into ungovernable disorder, perhaps leading to a crisis as harrowing as the 33-year-old North-South war which ended only the other day, or save the nation from the impending descent into hell.

In this maddening crisis the shocked, mystified and confused people are looking for a saviour. Only the Supreme has the power to play that role at a time when the naked power struggle is exploding in all its fury on the floor of the House. It looks as if we are in a free fall, tumbling in a bottomless vacuum, without any means to stop it. The Supreme Court, consisting of citizens of this nation, is not that naïve to hide behind the illusion of being above all that is going on now, with each day dragging the nation deeper into the depths of despair. The future is in its hands.

Their task right now is also to make the future safe and liveable. It has the option to return to the fundamental political principles enunciated in the Mahavamsa:1.  make our island a fit dwelling  place for men.” (MV 1:44) and 2.anoint the king / state that can pave the path for the good of all” (MV IV:7). It is also in the interests of the judges to do so because from the day after they retire they too will step down into the world they are about to make from the bench. They too will be recipients of the consequences they make in early December.

Of course, the Supreme Court, inter alia, will have to face myriad questions before it sits down to write the final verdict that will make or break the nation. The most convulsive and dizzying issue it has to face is the bahu-bootha Constitution”, as described aptly by the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Disentangling the contradictory provisions of a constitution, made hurriedly and expediently for competing  political  parties to perpetuate their rule forever, will be like cleaning  the Augean stables. In one sense, the Supreme Courts is asked to purify the Constitution which has been cut, chopped and twisted into a divisive and destructive tool by power-hungry politicians. This, at first sight, requires a surgical operation to remove the cancer of the powers concentrated in the Presidency and the Prime Minister in Parliament. Recent history indicates clearly that neither of the two parties can be trusted to perform their duties with commendable integrity.

When the two critical branches of the power – the Legislature and the Executive – are at loggerheads and fail to generate trust in the body politic who then can be trusted to fulfil the duties of the state? The obvious answer is the Supreme Court, the third arm of the state. Right now all eyes are focussed on the Supreme Court wondering whether it will act as the benign and rational provider of an answer that will serve the prime interests of the people without dipping its neutral hands in the murky and corrupted waters of politics.

So the task before the Courts is daunting and yet rewarding if it can step in to enshrine the sovereignty of the people in whose name the Constitution was made. It will have to walk a tight rope between the tangled legalities and a lasting pragmatic / people-oriented solution that would rescue the nation. It will be torn between two masters: serving the law and the serving the best interests of the sovereign people. Of the two, legal minds generally agree that the sovereign rights of the people stand way above the capricious interpretations of the unreliable law. Going to courts is like a woman going into a saree shop: when every saree is attractive who knows which one she will pick? So which way will the Court go? Is there a guiding star for the Courts to navigate their way through a rock and a hard place?

In the current crisis it is obvious that primacy should be given, above all other considerations, to pragmatism, because the Constitution, with its contradictory dialectics, is bedevilling not only the best of legal minds but also the future of peace and stability. By and large, the people expect their right to carry on their normal lives in a stable and nonviolent society be restored by the final decision of the Supreme Court. The nation is not only befuddled but horrifited by the legal eagles propounding contradictory interpretations of the bahu-bootha Constitution”. Each party is emphasising the clause/s favourable to them at the expense of the other – a common practice in the legal profession. But in this complex and confusing situation preserving the democratic norms and, most of all, serving the overall interests of the sovereign people, leaderless at the moment, should be given priority. At this moment the Supreme Court is tasked with the unenviable  mission of leading the nation out of darkness. When the other two competing branches are locked in a do-or-die battle for power can the Supreme Court, acting as the neutral third party, rise as the saviour of the nation?

It is also necessary in this confusing state, clouded with teeming questions, to define the central issue/s to find the answer/s. Coming  down to  the  nitty-gritty, I think the following two questions are relevant: 1. Can the head of state sack the prime minister who commands a majority in the House? Related to this is the other: 2. In a crisis situation where the two main branches of the state – the legislature and the executive – are locked in an impasse, virtually paralysing the state, should the judiciary, the third branch, acting as the neutral umpire, decide to hand over power to the people, which seems to be the most reasonable and pragmatic way out?

Those looking for answers will find the most relevant precedent in modern Australian history. At a time when the law is groping in the dark, clutching at straws, a solid precedent can be the guiding light that can lead the ship of the state to arrive safely in the harbour, without sinking in the dangerously choppy seas. The classic Australian precedent that will be outlined below can be considered to be the answer to the issues surrounding the current Sri Lankan crisis The Australian example can be the most decisive  precedent – more  powerful than any legal provision  – because right now Sri Lanka is running on parallel constitutional lines traversed by Australia in its biggest ever political / constitutional crisis. The parallels are too close to ignore. Sri Lanka is confronted with almost the identical two issues listed above. It is these two constitutional issues that threw Australia into the biggest ever political confrontation between the Right and Left forces.

On November 11, 1975 Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister of the Labour Government, who was in command of the Lower House with a safe majority, was heading for a crisis because  he could not get his money supply  bill through the Senate, the upper House, which was in the hands of the conservative Liberal Party, headed by Malcolm Fraser. Christmas was coming round the corner and the public servants and the private contractors could not be paid if he could not get the Right-wing Senate to pass the bill.

Monitoring these events in the background was the CIA. Needless to say, that it was not quite pleased with Whitlam’s Left-wing foreign policy which was not quite acceptable to the larger interests of  America leading the Cold War.. Whitlam boldly broke rank with the Western camp when he refused to be one of the subservient Cold War warriors who  treated China as a pariah of the international community and recognised Communist China. At this time America had gone to the extreme of blocking China’s entry into the UN. To the Western alliance, obsessed with the fear-mongering theory of domino effect”, recognising Communist China was alarming in the ‘70s. Whitlam had also threatened to close down American bases, including the strategic Pine Gap. On top of it all, in 1974 White House sent Marshal Green, the coup master” who engineered the fall of Sukarno in Indonesia, as ambassador to Australia.

Whitlam too blundered and played into the hands of the Right-wing opponents waiting to overthrow his Labour Government with his rather amateurish but inspired Left-leaning politics. Most of all, his government was riddled with financial scandals. His popularity was waning in the electorate. It was against this backdrop that Whitlam went in the morning of November 11 to the residence of the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, who was suspected of having links to the CIA. Earlier Sir.John had joined Association for Cultural Freedom, a right-wing group financed by CIA and conspiracy theorists accused him of being in the pay of CIA.

Whitlam was going to offer the Governor-General a solution to break the deadlock by offering to hold half senate elections hoping to get a majority in the Upper House. But Sir John, who was handpicked by Whitlam, had other ideas. He was going to appoint a Right-wing caretaker government led by the Opposition Leader, Malcolm Fraser and hold a general election as the way out. It was a classic power struggle within a parliamentary democracy. But how was the Sir. John, the representative of the neutral Queen who had to be consulted, going to resolve the crisis? Could he sack the Prime Minister who was in command of the majority in Parliament? Could he appoint the Leader of the Opposition as the care-taker Prime Minister? Could he declare a general election asking the people to decide the next step? Was he prepared to do a Pontius Pilate and wash his hands off, allowing the rival parties to battle it out? Or was he inclined to play a partisan role favouring the pro-American political leader? In his opinion, the state was corrupt and dysfunctional, lurching from crisis to crisis, unable even to deliver money to pay its functionaries. So did he overstep the democratic and constitutional norms in sacking a prime minister who had a majority in the House? Was he right in handing the final decision to the people and wait for their verdict? Though liberal political passions of the day were bitterly opposed to him did history eventually absolve him for pulling the nation out of the quagmire by handing power to the people to deliver their verdict and make democracy function again?

One of the primary tests of a democracy is when the state honours its moral and political obligation to consult the people periodically, or as and when it is required by law. However, if a state, paralysed by internal tensions and divisions, is heading towards a critical crisis with no end in sight, is it the duty of the head of state to go before the people as the neutral and final authority to deliver a final verdict? If there is a log jam someone must intervene to open up space for the non-violent and natural flow of events for democracy to regain its strength and function with vigour. There can be nothing undemocratic, illegal or immoral about the state consulting the people, the sovereign base from which all democracies derive their power.

This is precisely what happened on November 11, 1975 in Australia. The Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, sacked the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, Labour Party, and handed over power to a caretaker Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, the leader of the biggest party in the Opposition which, in his opinion”, had a chance of winning power in both Houses. If the people’s verdict went against the caretaker Prime Minister then the status quo ante would have returned with the consent of the people.

Of course, there were behind-the-scene manoeuvres that influenced Sir. John to sack the Prime Minister. Sir. John  cut a deal with Fraser to protect his interests in the event of his retiring.. That apart, what is most relevant is the drama that was played publicly on the political stage.  Both political parties agreed that the solution was an election. But they differed on the nature of the next election. Whitlam wanted only a majority in the Senate to get his money bill passed. So he offered half an election for the Senate, hoping the people will give him the majority he needed in the Upper House. Fraser, on the other hand wanted a full election, hoping to overthrow the unpopular Labour government.

Both Whitlam and Fraser were locked in a power struggle and neither was willing to budge. Sir John, rightly or wrongly, stepped in and sacked the Prime Minister and appointed the Leader of the Opposition as the care-taker prime minister. Elections were held and Fraser won. Australia returned to normalcy and stability again.

This, in broad outline, is how Australia came out unscathed from its biggest constitutional crisis. By now discerning readers would have detected sufficient similarities in Australian and the Sri Lankan constitutional crises. An internal crisis was reaching its critical point in Sri Lanka. The President stepped in first to prorogue Parliament and later to sack the Prime Minister and hold elections. Of course, there are some significant differences in details. But, in essence, both constitutional crises find common ground on the central issue: Can the head of a democratic state (the Executive) sack a prime minister who cannot deliver despite his majority in the House (the Legislature)? How is the prime minister going  to make the dysfunctional state, bogged down in  sordid politics, serve the larger interests of the disillusioned people lost without a promising future? Can the prime minister be allowed to impose his arbitrary will, abusing and subverting democratic parliamentary norms blatantly? Besides, the Yahapalanaya government was riddled with scandals of corruption, with more than a nudge-and-a-wink from the Prime Minister. He had taken the corrupt state to an irreversible and dysfunctional point, dropping the nation into a state of permanent crisis. The future seemed bleak.

So can an immoral majority in Parliament be allowed to run a dysfunctional state? Only the steely, incontestable laws of mathematics do not recognise morality. Its immutable numbers has almost a divine force  to act as a dictatorial force which no one can  contest. But how moral is a state run on pure numbers? The morality that underpins good governance should necessarily rise way above the games of numbers which can be manipulated with money. A parliament must be redeemed from corrupt manipulations driven by numbers alone.

The Australian crisis began and ended within one afternoon. Time was of the essence. Any magisterial power must act swiftly to prevent the deterioration  of the crisis into lower depths. Perpetuating paralysed governments will not serve the best interests of Parliament, Presidency, people or the Judiciary. The Australian  example leads the way in this respect too.  Whitlam came back from the Governor-General’s residence and passed a vote of confidence in the House with a majority of ten. But it could not be handed over to the Governor-General in time.  By the time the Speaker was admitted to the residence of Governor-General to convey the House’s message to Sir. John  it was too late. The Speaker was held up at the gate for a long time by the staff of the Governor-General playing for time. In the meantime, Parliament was dissolved. Whitlam was slow to draw. Sir.John fired first shot which hit the target. The proclamation dissolving Parliament was read on the steps of the Parliament by the Secretary to the Governor-General. Elections were held on December 13. The crisis was over and democracy and stability was restored.

Does all this ring a bell?

In the Sri Lankan example, however, the Opposition had time to go to the Supreme Court and obtained a stay order. The deleterious consequences are quite apparent even to a blind man’s dog.

It is in the light of the current state of chaos that the Australian experience provides an unerring sense of direction. Australia has established the precedent of dissolving parliament in time of crises, overriding limitations imposed by law,  and giving the sovereign people the right to decide their future. It has worked effectively. This is where a precedent gains the validity of a  moral force as great as the law. The backbone of the unwritten British Constitution has been the accumulation of pragmatic precedents. Precedents have translated into conventions and parliamentary traditions which, in turn, have  come to rest as the  bedrock of the British Conostitution. It has gathered a force as great, if not greater, than the written law. The time-tested precedents can also provide solutions to vexed issues polarising and destabilising democracies.

The Australian precedent is the best people-oriented and pragmatic solution available to the nation in this hour of need. Our bahu-bootha Constitution” provides clauses / arguments for both contending parties to push their partisan interests with co-equal legal force. Legal eagles are looking up to the Supreme Court to pick one or the other clause that favours their political  interests. Any decision it takes on pure legalities is bound to damage its image. Besides, it will end  up as an exercise in futility as any legal interpretation of a flawed and a highly controversial Constitution will be seen as a partisan and divisive act that will not solve the crisis. Also appointing a lame-duck prime minister who will be powerless to move in any positive direction in the remaining 16 months will only exacerbate the prevailing chaos. The respect and the neutrality of the Supreme Court will be enhanced only if it acknowledges the Australian precedent and cut short the prolonging of the prevailing agony.

The sobering consequences of the Australian precedent has established that, more than the contradictory law, which can be influenced, swayed and re-written by foreign and moneyed forces, it is the people who must be given the right to express their will, within the shortest possible time, to prevent destabilisation and blood baths. In a democracy the right of defining and creating the future lies solely with the people and not with any branch of the state trapped in divisive and destructive politics.

Lord Naseby, a well-meaning friend of Sri Lanka,  had the last  word on this subject. He said  that similar things happens in Western parliaments too. And he added: It can be unusual but not unconstitutional!”.

IS THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE SPEAKER A REHERSAL TO PASS THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION?

November 19th, 2018

BY EDWARD THEOPHILUS

People of Sri Lanka have a serious doubt about the behaviour of the speaker as a rehearsal to pass the proposed new constitution using illegal and contradict techniques of modes operandi. Since the election of the Yahapalana government in 2015, the behaviour of the parliament speaker has been confused and reflected the dishonesty in passing important legislations. The people of Sri Lanka questioned about the changing of clauses and contents of the bills despite the decisions at committee stage, and important bills became laws which were contrary to the approval of the parliament.  Many bills were changed without consents of the parliament and opposition publicly expressed displeasures.  The speaker of the parliament was responsible for such wilful changes and the behaviour of the speaker regarding the approval of no confidence motion against appointed Prime Minister of the caretaker government by the president, Mr Sirisena was showed that it was an act against the established procedures and the order of the house.

Not a single Western diplomat or India expressed that the behaviour of the speaker was accurate and acceptable as making such a statement would be negatively impact on making decisions in their countries.  JVP has a history of attempting to overthrow democratically elected government and its actions in 1971 and 1987-88 in Sri Lanka were subject to the death of thousands rural and urban youth and they have no idea about democratic traditions and procedural matters.  JVP presented 20th amendment to the constitution and the supreme court ruled that the amendment needs approval from two third members of parliament and a referendum of public. JVP needs learning political science and parliament procedures.

The main intention of the yahapalana regime was to introduce a new constitution and until the last year of the regime was unable to passed the constitution or present the draft constitution to the people. However, the committee appointed by the regime to draft the constitution have submitted an interim report, which mainly focused the following points to change current constitution.

  • Converting Sri Lanka to a Federal State with provincial governments in a framework of a united country. The united country cannot divide creating sovereign countries. The committee attempted to confuse people using baffle terms.
  • Converting Sri Lanka to a secular state. If the majority of population agrees to give priority to Buddhism, the relevant conditions for this status should be clearly indicated. This is an act affecting to the fundamental rights of people.
  • The north and east of Sri Lanka should be merged and be established one provincial state. People of Sri Lanka disagree with proposal of the committee.
  • The executive power of provinces or taken over by any of the power. This idea is contrary with the republic system in the world.
  • To earn funds for the implementation of the delegated power of provincial states should be given authority of the provincial governments. This is also questionable conditions, and
  • The Executive Presidency in the country must be abolished and such executive power should be given to the prime minister of the central government. The Executive Presidency is constitutional feature that protect the country

There is no doubt that 90% Sri Lanka’s population is highly concerned about the interim report and they clearly disagree with the way expects to change the constitution or the proposed new constitution to be introduced.  About 80% population of Sri Lanka are Sinhala, who are clearly against the proposed framework of the constitution.  In this background, the proposed constitution would be approved by nether a referendum or a majority of the members of the parliament.

As the yahapalana regime promised outside forces to introduce the proposed constitution and it is difficult to do in the legal and procedural framework, people have a doubt whether the behaviour the speaker is an attempt to pass the constitution by illegal and contrary to the procedure and the order of the house.

Voting Based on Noise-Is anyone embarrassed?

November 19th, 2018

Nawagamu Deshabandu

Any educated and developed person would agree that passing any proposal or motion based on the level of noise or sound is the lowest primitive method of applied democracy.  We have inherited this law in the constitution which was written during English colonial rule which at that time gave no room for public opinion of people who were Buddhists. Why do we accept this method?

This method gives no room for debate. Public is barred from hearing facts. The winner in the parliament is not necessary the truth seeker but may be a pawn of powers of another nation of thugs.

The noise of a feeble politician and people of country is completely ignored during a voting based on noise. The noise is encouraged and given credit. Parliament will become mad noise making persons. This is a disgrace to all accepted religions and the Asian civilization.

I hope politicians of Sri Lanka become civilized and permanently erase this ungraceful of voting method based on noise from the constitution of Sri Lanka and save it from global shame.   Are we a nation of undeveloped tribes? Can a politicians with a loud mouth be given the respect?

Legal Bungling and never ending Political Crisis.

November 19th, 2018

By Charles.S.Perera

In UK the English Judges give judgments which are human,  fair and just. They look beyond the law to render human and  people friendly judgements. Lord Denning’s judgments are classical and are often quoted to make legal opinions and even judgments more human. The law should be applied to  settle problems instead of creating problems unforeseen by the judges when  making their judgements.   In Sri Lanka the Judges it seems are bound by the law, legal terms, and meaning of the  letter of the law leaving aside the spirit of it. They are law book judges.

Todays political mess we find ourselves in Sri Lanka,  is the bungling of law book judges. The Attorney General had said precisely that the FR case filed had no reason to be received as the  actions of the President of Sri Lanka contested by the FR petitions had been in terms of the Constitution,  and in terms of the Constitutional rights vested in him. An interim judgement without taking into consideration the prevailing political situation seems an unprecedented happening that has put the whole country into an utter political  turmoil extending it  adversely to the  lives of the people .

The President Maithripala Sirisena has sworn in Mahinda Rajapakse as the new Prime Minister. But he has not been accepted as such by the Opposition the UNP and its allied political partners. But yet without accepting him as a Prime Minister in the first instance these opposition parties led by UNP and the JVP want  to pass a vote of no confidence on a  Prime Minister they have not still not accepted. That is a very unusual situation which has no fundamental  legal right to be sustained.

Because there should be  in the first instance a Prime Minister accepted as such for the opposition  to pass a vote of No Confidence. If there is no Prime Minister as they vociferously argue how can they then pass a vote of no confidence to a non existing Prime Minister ?

No one  except the opposition led by UNP demand to show a parliamentary majority. If the UNP, JVP,TNA and the rest of the parties of the opposition complain of the  absence of democracy in the actions taken by President Maithripala Sirisena, then they should themselves demonstrate that their own actions so far taken had been democratic.

If they are  democratic what they should do is to  accept the situation as presented in parliament with a  new Prime Minister and his cabinet of Ministers. Thereafter they should present to the Speaker of the Parliament a written notice of a No confidence motion to be passed against the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

Then it would be a democratic presentation in due form  of  a no confidence motion in the Parliament for a debate, which would eventually  be put to a vote in the house. If they have a majority they may  pass the no confidence motion  against the Prime Minister and his Cabinet of Ministers.

That would solve  the present political crisis that had been created by a legal bungling in the first place and allow democracy to prevail to solve the serious political problem the country is faced with.

This is a proposition which should have been suggested by the Political Editor of the Sunday Times in his Column on the 8 November,2018, instead of his  statement highlighting the concerns of the Colombo’s diplomatic community and the Western Nations and many others over Sirisena’s actions and decision”

The Political Editor says that their (diplomatic community and the Western Nations) major worry was what would happen to investments made by companies  in their countries in Sri Lanka. We wonder in that respect how many Companies of the West had made investments in Sri Lanka.

The Political Editor  then adds”…….. . Another concern was both the constitutionality and legality of President Sirisena’s actions. This clearly laid bare a huge drawback. Neither the Presidential Secretariat nor any of the agencies of the new government were able to cohesively explain the reasons or the rationale behind most of Sirisena’s moves. This caused confusion not only in Sri Lanka but overseas too. ……”

The west need not be concerned with the …. constitutionality and legality of President Sirisena’s actions” as he-the President  had acted  according to the powers vested in him according to  the Constitution.  The President is not answerable to the  Colombo’s diplomatic Community or the West for that.

The President of Sri Lanka had acted according to the Constitution and democratically even though the political parties opposed to him led by UNP is accusing the President, as their interests have been affected.

The Political Editor of the Sunday Times correctly says, ….On the other hand, the UNP’s effective publicity campaign, unmatched by any other, won it the eyes and ears of not only Sri Lankans but also the outside world. That has turned Sirisena into a villain without a defence.”

Hence the adverse situation coming from the Western Diplomats and their countries  has been caused by the puppet politicians of the west-the UNP which had turned Sirisena into a villain without a defence. ”

Neither the President Sirisena nor his newly sworn in Prime Minster and his Cabinet are really not concerned with the adverse situation  caused by UNP’s betrayel of the country to the West as it is not the opinion of the Western diplomats and their countries  that matter to find a solution to the present political problem but  it is the people of  our own country- the SRI LANKANS.

That is why there should be a General Election to solves the present political situation, which had to be put off due to a legal bungling.

දෝශ සහගත තත්වයන් මාගේ කරපිටින් යවා, සිද්ධියට සම්බන්ධ අනෙකුත් පාර්ශවයන් නිදොස් වීමේ නිර්ලජජිත උත්සාහයක්-ගම්පහ දිස්ත්‍රික් පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී  ප්‍රසන්න රණවීර

November 19th, 2018

මාධ්‍ය නිවේදනයයි ප්‍රසන්න රණවීර ගම්පහ දිස්ත්‍රික් පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී

රට තුළ පවතින අර්බුදකාරී දේශපාලන වාතාවරණය හමුවේ මතුව ඇති සිය`ථ දෝශ සහගත තත්වයන් මාගේ කරපිටින් යවා, සිද්ධියට සම්බන්ධ අනෙකුත් පාර්ශවයන් නිදොස් වීමේ නිර්ලජජිත උත්සාහයක් පිළිබ`දව මාහට සැලවී ඇත. විශේෂයෙන්ම ජනමාධ්‍ය ඔස්සේ වරින් වර මාගේ දර්ශන හා ඡායා රූප පෙන්වමින් ඒවාට විවිධ අර්ථ කථන දෙමින් කටයුතු කරන ආකාරයක් දැකිය හැක. එවන් ක්‍රියාවන් පෞද්ගලිකව මා වෙත කරන බලපෑමට වඩා, මේ මොහොතේ මාගේ අවධානය යොමුව ඇත්තේ විජාතික අවශ්‍යතාවන් මත, විවධ පාර්ශවයන් විසින් ප්‍රජාත්‍රන්ත්‍රවාදී යැයි පෙන්වමින්, රටට සිදුකිරීමට උත්සාහ ගන්නා අනර්ථකාරී කි්‍රයාවන් පරාජය කිරීමට බව ඔබ වෙත ගෞරවයෙන් සිහිපත් කරමි.

විශේෂයෙන්ම මිනීමරු ඉතිහාසයක් ඇති ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට බෝම්බ ගසා පාර්ලිමේන්තු ප්‍රජාත්‍රන්ත්‍රවාදයට එල්ල කල තර්ජනයට නොදැවෙනි තර්ජනයක් කරු ජයසූරියගේ ඒකාධිපති වියරුව විසින් මේ වන විටත් සිදුකරමින් සිටී. මෙය තව දුරටත් නොසලකා හැරීමට නොහැකි වන්නේ, මේ ආකාරයටම ඔවුහූ හදිසි පනතක් හො ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනයක් හරහා රට දෙකඩ කිරීමට ගන්නා උත්සාහයක් පිළිබ`දව දැනටමත් ඉ`ගි පළවී ඇති බැවිනි. ඔහුගේ එම උන්මත්තක භාවය පරාජයකොට, ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව හා පාර්ලිමේන්තු ස්ථාවර නියෝග ආරක්ෂා කිරිිම වෙනුවෙන් ඕනෑම ක්‍රියාමාර්ගයකට අවතීරණය වීමට මහජන නියෝජිතයෙකු ලෙස මා බැදී සිටින අතරම, ඒ සදහා මා කිසිවකුට පසුබට නොවෙමි. එය රට පිළිබ`දව සිතන ඕනෑම අයෙකු= විසින් අනුගමනය කළ යුතු ක්‍රියා මාර්ගයක් බව දේශජ සියනෑ පුත්‍රයෙකු ලෙස මම තරයේ විශ්වාස කරමි.

ජවිපේ ටී එන් ඒ එජාප හවුල විසින් පාර්ලිමේන්තු ප්‍රජාත්‍රන්ත්‍රවාදයට එල්ල කල තර්ජනය පූර්ණ වශයෙන් ආරක්ෂා කරමින් සිටින කරූ ජයසූරිය මෙහෙයවන එජාප මැරයන්ට එරෙහිව පෙනී සිටි මා ඒ වෙනුවෙන් අනුගමනය කළ ක්‍රියා මාර්ග තුළ, රාජ්‍ය නිලධාරීන් අපහසුතාවයට පත් කිරීමේ චෙතානාවක් හෝ අදහසක් කිසිසේත්ම නොවූ බව අවධාරණය කරමි.

එමෙන්ම පාර්ලිමේන්තු සභා ගර්භය තුළට කරු ජයසූරිය පෙරටු කොට පැමිණියේ පොළිස් නිළධාරීන්ද? යන්න, අද වෙනතුරුත් කිසිදු උසස් පොලිස් නිලධාරියෙකු විසින් සනාත කොට නැති අතර, පොලිස් නිල ඇ`දුමක තිබිය යුතු නිල ලාංඡන හෝ අංක කිසිවක් ඔවුන් සතු නොවීම හේතුවෙන් ඔවුන්ද එජාප මැර හමුදාවක් ලෙස ඒ මොහොතේ වැටහී යාම නොවැලැක්විය හැකිය. කෙසේ වෙතත් කරූ ජයසූරිය ඇතු`ථ එජාප මැරයන්ට එරෙහිව ගත් ක්‍රියාමාර්ග හේතුවෙන් ඒ මොහොතේ රාජකාරියේ යෙදී සිටි පොලිස් නිලධාරීන්ට හෝ රාජ්‍ය නිලධාරීන්ට යම් අපහසුතාවක් වී නම් පිළිබදවද මාගේ කනගාටුව ද නිහතමානීව ප්‍රකාශ කරන අතරම, පොලිස් හා රාජ්‍ය නිලධාරීන්, තම මජර දේශපාලන අවශ්‍යතා වෙනුවෙන් යොදා ගැනීමට කටයුතු කළ කරූ ජයසූරිය ප්‍රමුඛ නඩයෙහි ක්‍රියා කලාපය තරයේ හෙලා දැකීමටද මෙය අවස්තාවක් කර ගනිමි.

ප්‍රසන්න රණවීර
ගම්පහ දිස්ත්‍රික් පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී

Dinesh reveals reason for Speaker’s absence

November 19th, 2018

Courtesy Adaderana

The Speaker has acknowledged that the composition of parliamentarians of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is higher than that of the United National Party (UNP), says Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

He stated this addressing a press conference held at the Parliament Complex this afternoon (19).

Commenting further, he said that the Speaker was absent at the Chamber today due to an unwieldy situation.

The UPFA parliamentarians have emphasized at the party leaders’ meeting that the Speaker does not possess the authority of any sort to appoint or remove a Premier, stated the Minister.

Commenting on the monetary proposal presented by the Parliamentarians of the Opposition, Minister Gunawardena stated that only MPs of the government are able to make monetary proposals.

Parliament adjourned to Nov 23

November 19th, 2018

Courtesy Adaderana

The parliamentary session commenced at 1 pm today (19). However, the session was chaired by the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament in the absence of the Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya.

Deputy Speaker moved that a select committee should be appointed and requested MP nominations for the relevant matter be urgently handed over to the Parliamentary Secretary-General.

The Deputy Speaker then concluded the parliamentary session for the day.

Accordingly, the next parliamentary session will take place at 10 am on 23rd November.

MP Lakshman Kiriella stated that an investigation should be conducted against the MPs who damaged state property during the tense situations which occurred on 14th, 15th and 16th November at the Parliament.

Deputy Speaker responded that the Speaker will be promptly informed regarding the matter.

Dinesh Gunawardena stated that, when appointing a Select Committee it should be done under the recognition of a government and that the parliamentary affairs are the responsibility of the government. Accordingly, the majority of the Select Committee should be with the governing party, he stated.

As a Select Committee cannot be appointed without a government, the Select Committee should be appointed under the recognition that a government exists, said S. B. Dissanayake.

However, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake stated that, in a context where a no-confidence motion against the PM and the new government has been clearly passed on the 15th November, it is not fair to have a majority in a Select Committee appointed for parliamentary affairs.

He says that it is not fair to handover the majority of the Select Committee to a party which doesn’t have the majority in the parliament.

President expresses regret over use of tear gas on monks

November 19th, 2018

Courtesy Adaderana

President states that he was not informed on the protest by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organization and he expresses his regrets regarding the inconveniences caused to the monks.

A protest by BBS was held this afternoon (19) in front of the Presidential Secretariat. They had arrived at the Presidential Secretariat to handover a letter to the President with regard to the imprisonment of Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero.

However, police had taken measures to control the protestors by deploying water cannons and tear gas.

President has further said that he will instruct on an immediate investigation into those who were involved in the firing of tear gas, stated President’s Media Division.

ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා ජාතික රෝහලේ ප‍්‍රධාන විකිරණ අංශයේ DSA යන්ත‍්‍රය 2016 වසරේ සිට අක‍්‍රීය වීම නිසා රෝගීන්ට බරපතල තත්ත්වයක්.

November 19th, 2018

ජනමාධ්‍ය නිවේදනයයි !එච්.එම්.එස්.බී. මැදිවත්ත වැඩබලන සභාපති සමස්ත ලංකා හෙද සංගමය  

ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා ජාතික රෝහලේ ප‍්‍රධාන විකිරණ අංශයේ DSA යන්ත‍්‍රය 2016 වසරේ සිට අක‍්‍රීය වීම නිසා රෝගීන්ට බරපතල තත්ත්වයක්…

ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා ජාතික රෝහලේ ප‍්‍රධාන විකිරණ අංශයේ තිබූ DSA යන්ත‍්‍රය (Digital Substractive Angiogram – ලේ නහර ආශ‍්‍රිත පරීක්ෂණ හා ප‍්‍රතිකාර කිරීම – හෘදය හැර) 2016 වසරේ සිට අක‍්‍රීයව තිබේ. මෙම යන්ත‍්‍රය මගින් රෝගීන්ට විශාල සේවාවක් ලැබී තිබේ. ලේ නහරවල ඇතිවන්නා වූ විවිධ රෝග තත්ත්ව සම්බන්ධයෙන් පරීක්ෂණ හා ප‍්‍රතිකාර ලබාදීමට ද මෙම යන්ත‍්‍රය උපයෝගී කොට ගන්නා ලදී. මෙම යන්ත‍්‍රයේ විශේෂත්වය වන්නේ ශල්‍යකර්ම කිරීමකින් තොරව රෝගියාගේ රෝගී තත්ත්වයට ප‍්‍රතිකාර කිරීමට හැකිවීමයි.

නමුත් 2016 වසරේ සිට නව යන්ත‍්‍රයක් ගැනීමට ටෙන්ඩර් කැඳවූවද, ටෙන්ඩරය ලබාගත් ආයතනයට විරුද්ධව ටෙන්ඩර් ඉදිරිපත් කළ තවත් ආයතනයක් කටයුතු කිරීම තුළ ටෙන්ඩරය අවලංගු වී තිබේ. 2018 වසරේදී ද එම යන්ත‍්‍රය ලබාගැනීමට ටෙන්ඩර් කැඳවූව ද ටෙන්ඩරය ලබාගත් ආයතනයට විරුද්ධව තවත් ආයතනයක් කටයුතු කිරීම හේතුවෙන් තවමත් DSA යන්ත‍්‍රය ලබාගැනීමට නොහැකි වී තිබේ.
 
මෙම තත්වය හමුවේ ජාතික රෝහල තුළ ලේ නහර ආශ‍්‍රිත විවිධ ආබාධවලින් පෙළෙන දහස් සංඛ්‍යාත රෝගීන් පිරිසකට ප‍්‍රතිකාර ලබාදීමේ හැකියාව සීමා වී ඇත. මෙය රෝගීන්ට සිදුවී තිබෙන දැඩි අසාධාරණයකි. රට පුරා දහස් සංඛ්‍යාත පිරිසක් ලේ නහර ආශ‍්‍රිත රෝගවලින් පෙළෙන අතර, ඒවාට කළට වේලාවට ප‍්‍රතිකාර ලබා ගැනීමට නොහැකිවීම නිසා ඔවුන්ගේ රෝග තත්ත්වය බරපතල වීම හෝ ඔවුන් මියයාම සිදුවේ.

ජාතික රෝහල සතුව වෙනත් ඒකක 02 ක DSA යන්ත‍්‍ර 02 ක් තිබුණද, ඒවා එම ඒකකවල ප‍්‍රතිකාර ලබන රෝගීන්ගේ කටයුතු සඳහා ප‍්‍රධාන වශයෙන් යොදා ගැනීමට සිදුවී තිබේ. එසේම ජාතික රෝහලේ මෙම ප‍්‍රතිකාර සඳහා මාස 02 – 03 ක පොරොත්තු ලේඛණයක් ද ඇති බව පැවසේ.

තවද, ප‍්‍රධාන විකිරණ අංශය තුළ DSA යන්ත‍්‍රයෙන් ප‍්‍රතිකාර ලබාදීම සඳහා විකිරණ විශේෂඥ වෛද්‍යවරු නිර්වින්දන විශේෂඥ වෛද්‍යවරු ද ඇතුළුව අනිකුත් සියලූ උපකරණ ද විශාල ලෙස තිබෙන තත්ත්වයකදී මෙමDSA යන්ත‍්‍රය ලබාගැනීම සඳහා සෞඛ්‍ය බලධාරීන් අවංක මැදිහත් වීමක් සිදු නොකිරීම බරපතල සැක සංකා ගණනාවක් ඇති කර තිබේ. මෙම පරීක්ෂණ පෞද්ගලික අංශයෙන් සිදුකරගැනීමේදී ලක්ෂ ගණනින් ගෙවීමට රෝගීන්ට සිදුවේ.

එබැවින්, රටේ අසරණ රෝගීන්ට නොමිලේ ප‍්‍රතිකාර ලබාගැනීමට තිබෙන මෙම සුවිශේෂී යන්ත‍්‍රය ලබාගැනීම සඳහා සෞඛ්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශ බලධාරීන් මෙන්ම ජාතික රෝහලේ බලධාරීන් ද වහා කටයුතු කළයුතු බව පෙන්වා දෙන්නෙමු.

ස්තූතියි.

මෙයට,
එච්.එම්.එස්.බී. මැදිවත්ත
වැඩබලන සභාපති
සමස්ත ලංකා හෙද සංගමය           

Milad-Un-Nabi

November 19th, 2018

Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

20th November 2018

I wish to convey my warmest felicitations to all Muslims in Sri Lanka marking the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet Mohamed. The followers of Islam in Sri Lanka commemorate this auspicious day with religious observances, charitable deeds and contemplation of the Holy Prophet’s teachings.

The Islamic nations of the world have always unconditionally supported Sri Lanka in international fora and I take this opportunity to express my gratitude for that unstinted support and also to extend my greetings on this Holy Day to the followers of Islam in those nations as well.

Mahinda Rajapaksa
Prime Minister of the
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

A golden opportunity for the interim Prime Minister ‘to put the country first’.

November 18th, 2018

Dr D.Chandraratna

I believe that when the Parliament is recalled in a weeks time monies have to be voted to carry on the task of government in this interim period till a finality is reached. A money bill of some sort has to be approved by the Parliament and this gives the caretaker Prime Minister to set the country on the right track as a first step to show the public some elements of financial good governance that Yahapalanites failed to do. To the author, there is a few that the incumbent Prime minister can do to prove his worth. The money bill that he brings must be drastic, challenging and public friendly as seen never before in the history of our democracy. The author believes that the public will light crackers, true to Sri Lankan style, vote with their feet later for the measures that will clean up the law making body for a start.

Given the pathetic state of the law making body I cannot list all the remedies that need to be done in this short article but for a start can suggest a few that will gain universal approval. First, it is absolutely vital that the supreme law making body and its occupants are cleared of the tax rorts they individually and severally committed which made them the laughing stock starting off with the illegal selling of tax-free vehicles. Please legislate to tax them as per the rules applicable to other citizens and get them to pay the public money as a matter of urgent priority. Failure to pay should make them ineligible for public office at the forthcoming polls. This is killing two birds with a single stone. We, the taxpayers get our dues and second a public enemy, a would- be crook, is barred from the Parliament. In the same vein for the good of our country, the environment and the narrow roads that we have please set limits on the cubic capacity of vehicles the state will allow, lest we will die of pollution, if not killed at pedestrian crossings.  Other frauds such as the Central bank while being expedited, the immediate beneficiaries of the ill gotten money be exposed and the monies paid with fines imposed straight away under existing bribery laws be collected in favour of the Sri Lankan Treasury. This is an immediate penalty for murderers, drug merchants and rapists as in many other countries. There should never be leeches that jump from one party to another making democratic governance difficult for all times. Suggest legislation to end it for all times.

Second, cut the wasteful expenditure on the perks and privileges given to Parliamentarians, which the public should not bear. I am sure that the whole caboodle of ministers and their kith and kin are beneficiaries of this largesse and it is the starting point of a much needed cleaning up operation. If your own party candidates don’t like it that is a blessing that God has delivered to you. Get rid of the men and women who could become unworthy of becoming public servants and select those who are willing and genuine.  Politicians from both sides do not realize that the very substance of politics and the state is at stake in the body politic of Sri Lanka and this is the time to ‘soften up’ the institutions and in particular the premier institution — the Parliament.  There will not be another golden opportunity like the one given to you by an unforeseen set of circumstances. Being superstitious yourself, this must be your destiny.  As Marx said of the bourgeoisie let these useless men and women be their own gravediggers if they vote against the money bill for we know the legislative repercussions. I cannot value highly enough of the golden opportunity placed before you. Do not waste it, if you do, you will be painted by the same brush, as one who did not have the verve to walk the talk.

I am sure that the wish of the incumbent Prime Minister is to allow the public to decide in this hopeless situation, which I believe is correct. We also need laws to prevent opportunities to sell, lease, and plunder our national assets by the politicians without public approval. Legislate against selling our heritage and dignity for a ransom. If you want to walk your talk this is the opportunity to start your second coming on a genuine footing. Prove yourself by incorporating some of these measures for corruption free governance right at the start and if you win your money bill we are winners and if you lose we still are winners in being able to elect someone willing to do the same.  What a golden opportunity.

MINORITY GOVERNMENTS ARE POSSIBLE FOR A SHORT PERIOD UNDER THE DEMOCRATIC RULES

November 18th, 2018

BY EDWARD THEOPHILUS

Minority governments can exist for a short period in a democratic system. Minority governments for a short period were in USA, UK, Australia, Canada, India, Japan and many other countries. In many instances, there were minority governments as caretakers in the history. In Sri Lanka, Mr Dudley Senanayake’s government in March, 1960 was a minority government until held a general election in July 1960.  Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa clearly stated that the government appointed by Mr Sirisena is a caretaker government until hold an election and later the president issued a gazette notification to dissolve the parliament.

Under the parliament democracy Mr Rajapaksa’s government is a caretaker government for a short period and it doesn’t need a majority or show a majority support in the parliament as it is a temporary government to deal with possible problems during election period.  Why UNP and JVP want a majority for a short period, if a majority government will be established after the general election. The behaviour of UNP and JVP clearly indicates that they are against the confirmation of peoples’ sovereignty by an election and why they are so scare to an election, if they feel that people will re-elect them or people are with them at the next general election.

It clearly seems that they have no knowledge of political science or parliament democracy or even how to behave in a democratic society. They try to turn the democracy and parliament procedures the way they want with the support of the speaker. JVP is a tiny political group of Sri Lanka, which cannot change a democratic administration in the way they want as they have attempted in 1971 and 1987-88.  If they have come to democratic path, they should act according to democratic traditions.

Why is JVP and UNP so scare to an election, if they follow democracy? They clearly know what have been happen since 2015.  The local government election in 2018 showed that the majority of people of the country are not with them.  Especially, JVP has lost its credibility because the behaviour of JVP after 2015 has created a suspicion in the mind of common people as Mr Simians Amerasignhe stated. The objectives of JVP and UNP to achieve what they politically want to do using the speaker as he is a member of the UNP and behaving like a child.

The Sunday Newspapers in Sri Lanka clearly indicate the procedure to follow presenting a no confidence motion.  People know very well that JVP has not followed the procedure and hurried to pass the motion undemocratic way, the speaker has acted like a dictator or like person who has not understanding or experience about parliament tradition and democracy and it is not democracy.  In such a background it quite possible to create troubles in the parliament.

In the history we can trace that when a speaker was elected, he or she resigned the political party he or she was belong to.  This tradition changed in 1970 as Mr Stanley Tillakaratne opted not to resign as his predecessor, Mr Shirly Korea was engaged in politics while performing speakers’ duty.  Since then speakers while acting in the position stayed in the party. The Yahapalanaya did not attempted to change it but worsen the good governance.

People in Sri Lanka has lost the faith on good governance, political system in the country and the behaviour of politicians.  It seems that people of Sri Lanka need an alternative after the next general election.  The economy is the priority of people.

Regime-changing the Regime change in Sri Lanka

November 18th, 2018

Governments come & governments go – that is clear evidence of a vibrant democracy. People go for elections – they bring governments to power & they can bring down governments too. We have seen that happening too. But all this becomes a little complicated when groups of external players enter the scene to mess with people’s minds, when they plug fake stories, fund campaigns & even individuals & groups. All this becomes unfair & corrupt practices. But, we know this is a phenomena happening in all parts of the world & these colored regime change revolutions are the new modus operandi in placing in power governments & leaders who are ready to be the local conduit to various agendas set in motion to destabilize & weaken nations. A country geopolitically & commercially important as Sri Lanka is a paradise for every external party and it is in our ability to understand & link how other countries with asset interests to external forces have fallen, that makes it easier for citizens to surround & protect the leaders working in the interest of the nation & not the locals facilitating the interests of the external forces.

The regime change that took place in 2015 was in for a democratic regime change in 2018 and shockingly delivered by the puppet the regime changers thought would dance to their tune. When people become too cocky with confidence they let their guard down & it was either the wind blew alert of an assassination or impeachment that led to the President clean bowling the mastermind behind the plot.

In a case of rubbing salt into the wound, his replacement became everyone’s bête noire and all this took place on 26 October 2018 totally unaware to everyone. Keeping the excitement in full throttle came the proroguing of parliament, dissolution of parliament & then the democracy cheerleaders that were too chicken to go to courts against the sacking of the PM, dashing to court to file petitions against holding elections & as a result of a court order pending final verdict the entire country is in a standstill.

To make matters worse the Speaker joins the fracas by adding fuel to the fire issuing bizarre statements & proving by action his bias. The sacked PM says he is still the PM, the Speaker refuses to accept the new PM as the PM but accepts the No Confidence Motion & passes that in 10 minutes without following standing orders or due process.

The most flogged argument in a well-planned psychological effort to instill fear among public is to spread the notion that we must fear the West. Therefore, the hysteria promoted is ‘what will West do now’ we are not behaving as per their ‘democracy’ ‘liberal’ ways…the sacked PM too promoted the notion that the West would sanction Sri Lanka because he was dethroned. Well, we have news for you scardy-cats…western nations maybe powerful by virtue of their military might & the bloc nations that they use to bully others… but these nations are all throwing stones from glass houses. They are no beacons of virtue, they commit the biggest human rights violations, they are the real violators of democracy & it is time we read out their record sheet.

Let’s take the UK first, and always keep in mind that these Western nations interfere in nations for commercial & geopolitical interests & ‘democracy’ is simply a convenient excuse to camouflage their real intent. They use global corporates on the boards of which are former government heads & officials to force developing nations to privatize. This is the new norm happening across the world. They use global entities like IMF & WB to entrap nations into debt & demand returns that insist on cutting welfare systems of the people.

Let’s not forget that the arms & ammunition sold for profit to Saudi & allies now bombing Yemen have killed over 10,000 Yemeni civilians & brought the nation to the brink of starvation. These probably align to ‘British values’ & American ‘democracy’ & ‘human rights’.

These paragons of virtue didn’t mind cutting deals with Libya either – during deals (£550m  shell oil ) brokered under Tony Blair the Libyan leader was Col. Muammar Gaddafi but when they wanted to oust him, Gaddafi became a ‘dictator’. Same fate happened to Saddam Hussein, UK PM Thatcher had no issues selling him arms during 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war & while he killed plenty of Kurds in 1988, but Saddam went on to become a ‘dictator’ with US-UK-NATO deciding to liberate the Iraqi people.

Let’s go a little further into history, remember how UK described Chile’s Augusto Pinochet as Britain’s ‘true friend’ and this was throughout the period he was murdering Chileans. Let’s cross over to Indonesia… remember Gen. Suharto – he came to power from a military coup in 1965 and went on to occupy East Timor in 1975, UK PM Thatcher too described him as ‘one of our very best and most valuable friends’ and he was even a State Guest in 1979… this is the man who killed lakhs of people.

In case we miss to mention, the democratic government of Iran led by Mossadegh was overthrown by a US-UK coup & the Shah of Iran was installed. Why was Mossadegh overthrown you may ask, he was replaced simply because he was planning to nationalize Iran’s oil industry. Can you imagine these virtuous countries US & UK overthrowing a democratically elected leader simply because he wanted to nationalize Iran’s oil!!! So much for democracy!

Some of these virtuous democracy angels in the West have got quite personal too … we have all heard of the personal letters sent by the Queen to Idi Amin, UK’s Ramsay MacDonald wrote to Italy’s Mussolini, Austen Chamberlain even went on a holiday with him.

The image of ‘dictator’ was one that was built slowly against Mahinda Rajapakse too… thankfully Sri Lanka being a small island the lies can’t take flight as easily without counter reactions. However, we can recall how the US citizens were made to believe Gaddafi, Saddam were all ‘evil dictators’ had these Americans been a little more read about world happenings they would not be taken for a jolly ride so easily but because they are clueless about world affairs the US UK & NATO got away promoting their trained mercenaries as rebels & sent them to Syria where the duty of the West was to deliver democracy & get rid of ‘evil dictator’ Assad.

The manner Kosovo, South Sudan were given independence, the manner populist leaders like Haiti’s Aristade were ousted is a case in point for Sri Lanka to keep in mind as West are not too fond of populist leaders who make it difficult for West to push their anti-national agendas.

India that proudly partners the West must surely be aware that balkanizing India is also on the West’s shopping list – no different to how Soviet Union & Yugoslavia were split. Already the Missionary network are working underground.

The West’s interference in Sri Lanka has become all too obvious. The first open signal came when a set of Western envoys visited deposed PM before making official courtesy call to the new PM – their statements too flout diplomatic protocols. Regularly these envoys are seen visiting the deposed PM and moreover they are even attending Parliament & have been present in the Supreme Court when the petitions against dissolution of parliament to hold elections were filed. The manner that some JVP MPs were behaving in Parliament functioning as a proxy UNP clearly showed how compromised they have become too. How are these engagements part of their diplomatic work??? Are these not poking their noses into the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. These are silly questions to even ask when considering the interferences these very nations get up to in other countries.

If Sri Lankans do not know of West’s record sheet they are unlikely to understand the exact nature of the battleground we are dealing with. It is in being aware of US – UK – NATO & all other nations that have played roles in regime change, liberal capitalist neo-con privatization schemes, illegal interventions & occupations & a general overview of how invisible agents operates can Sri Lankans understand the need to back any leader who is not aligned to these forces & reject any leader who are backed by these forces and the locals that back them.

That effort has been made easy by the fact that the very forces that helped bring the regime change – from politicians, political parties, media, social media groups, lawyers, ‘academics’, ‘civil society’ etc are the very people scrambling to return the deposed former prime minister back into the saddle. Their latest propaganda is to shout #democracywins & pretend to be mouthpiece for democracy but they go mute when questioned as to why they did not oppose UNP JVP TNA passing special bills to delay elections & not holding elections from August 2015 to February 2018!

That they were all using the President as a scapegoat can be seen in the manner that they are all now throwing bricks, when in 2015 they were throwing bouquets. All of them are however mum about a string of illegalities, irregularities that their hero has committed since January 2015 – Bond Scam, nepotism, favoritism to school buddies, autocratic rule, not informing President, passing bills by inserting additional clauses not inserted at committee stage, deceptive manner that the new constitution was to be passed, detrimental Bills that would have sold national resources & assets and a wave of privatization that would have given foreigners freehold of land, we would have lost our airports, ports, harbors, forest reserves, land around strategic areas/assets to foreign privatization projects.

The ruckus in parliament would have been costly but had that not happened all of the items mentioned would have been passed & we would have never been able to get these back without going for international courts resulting in compensating these foreign companies for damages in reversing agreements signed. If people are able to understand these dangers, they would clearly see why Sri Lankan voters need to in future always vote for a leader who has the interest of the nation and is not working to fulfill the interests of foreigners.  

US Provides Military Assistance to 73 Percent of World’s Dictatorships

https://truthout.org/articles/us-provides-military-assistance-to-73-percent-of-world-s-dictatorships/

How U.S. Military Bases Back Dictators, Autocrats, And Military Regimes

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-us-military-bases-back-dictators-autocrats-and-military-regimes_us_591b229ae4b05dd15f0ba8e6

William Blum gives a long list of other people’s governments overthrown by the US – https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-us-military-bases-back-dictators-autocrats-and-military-regimes_us_591b229ae4b05dd15f0ba8e6

US military bases in 172 countries

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-us-has-military-bases-in-172-countries-all-of-them-must-close/

America dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/america-dropped-26171-bombs-2016-obama-legacy

CIA killings – tactics used  – face cream, cigar, milkshake for Castro, toothpaste for Congo’s Lumumba, pizza for Hezbullah – 13 million pages of declassified documents from 1940s to 1990s

https://www.ranker.com/list/cia-assassinations/mike-rothschild

The people must now realize by the bloc uniting to replace the ousted Prime Minister that their motives camouflaged by democracy dictums have nothing to do with the interests of the Nation or its People. This alone suffices to awaken the people as to the lurking dangers & the need to defeat them democratically at a future election if the people wish to secure the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.

Keep in mind that there is an assassination attempt on the President which was the reason for removing the PM… we demand an investigation into this as we know too well how many foreign leaders have also been assassinated by these democracy angels.

We do not want Sri Lanka to become another ‘We came, we saw, he died… & we laughed’ story!

This island is thrice blessed by Buddha, divine forces work in mysterious ways to safeguard the nation and we will come out of this calamity too.

Shenali D Waduge

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